On July 13 at 5:16 AM, cameras at the McLeod Co-op Power pole yard detected an intrusion. Dispatchers at the monitoring station verified on the video that a male person was walking inside of the fenced area. McLeod County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and deputies responded. Cooperative personnel were also notified. Deputies apprehended the thief fleeing the scene, with burglary tools and wire cords stolen from the Co-op in his possession.

Heartland Security
Local Heartland Security Services employee Vern Zimmer shows some of the 25-foot cords cut off of voltage regulators at McLeod Co-op Power’s pole yard near Glencoe. The Heartland Security video system caught the thief in the act and law enforcement apprehended the intruder as he fled the scene.

He had cut through a security fence to gain access. He then cut off and stole six 25-foot regulator cords from voltage regulators stored at the Co-op’s pole yard facility near Glencoe. The cords were valued at $1,500. The labor to repair the voltage regulators and the fence were also listed as damages.

The intruder pled guilty to the charge of criminal damage to property in the first degree. At his hearing in November, he was ordered to provide restitution for his theft and damages.

“The Co-op was very happy with the detection provided by the Heartland Security Services system, it’s surveillance cameras, and the watchful eye of dispatchers at the Wright-Hennepin Response Center where alarms are monitored,” said General Manager Carrie Buckley. She added,” The quick response of the McLeod County Sheriff’s officers also helped in apprehending the thief.”

McLeod Cooperative Power and Meeker Cooperative are two of the 14 co-ops that own Heartland Security Services. Over the years, Heartland Security has grown to be one of the premier security and monitoring companies in Minnesota and surrounding states. It provides home security systems for many members of McLeod and Meeker cooperatives. Heartland Security offers fire detection, intrusion detection, camera systems, card entry systems, and environmental monitoring (temperature and water sensors). It also provides systems for farms, ag confinement buildings, and commercial businesses.

Vern Zimmer is the local sales representative for Heartland Security Services. Vern is available to meet with members who are considering a security system or need a price quote. Vern had helped McLeod Co-op Power initially with placement of its cameras and improvements to its security system a few years ago.

Metal theft happens much too often to utilities and it is the utility customers who pay for the losses when thieves are not caught in the act.

“We can attest to the value of having a system from Heartland Security Services,” said Bob Thomes of McLeod Co-op Power. “When they successfully detect an intruder and then act quickly to help law enforcement catch the thief, it makes you very thankful that you had a quality system in place guarding the Co-op’s property, “ added Thomes.