June 20, 2008
Troy Molde awoke at 3 a.m. Thursday to police flashlights shining in his face. Two uniformed Lakeville officers were in his bedroom, knocking on the wall to wake him up.
They were there, they said, to warn him to keep his doors closed and locked.
Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign. Officers had fanned out across the city, leaving notices on doors to remind residents how to prevent thefts by keeping garage doors closed, not leaving valuables in cars and locking windows or doors.
But at Molde’s house, they went further.
His two sons, ages 5 and 7, and 5-year-old twin nephews were having a sleepover in the living room. They awoke to find the officers in the house.
“I was violated, but … I wasn’t physically damaged,” Molde said of what he considers an invasion of privacy.
The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.
Police said the intrusion was justified because the officers’ initial door knocks went unanswered. Police went inside to check if anything was wrong, Sgt. Jim Puncochar said.
He said the kids were afraid to wake their dad, so the officers went upstairs.
“It really was suspicious,” Puncochar said.
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