Seward Neighborhood Group

Vehicle Security Checklist

Tips to prevent vehicle-related theft:

  1. Lock your vehicle to reduce opportunity of theft. Lock doors while driving and upon exiting the vehicle.
  2. Do not leave keys in your vehicle.
  3. Do not leave valuables in vehicles. This includes items such as purses, laptops, iPods, sunglasses, and loose change. Remove face plates of after-market stereos.  If you must transport valuables, place them in the trunk prior to reaching your destination.
  4. Do not leave garage door opener in plain view; treat it as a key to your property.
  5. Pay attention to unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Call 911 to report suspicious persons or activity. Since a majority of these crimes are occurring at night, be especially alert to noises such as breaking glass.
  6. Close windows when vehicle is parked and avoid having windows wide open when driving.
  7. Always park in well-lit areas.
  8. Utilize secure parking. A majority of vehicle-related thefts occur to vehicles parked on the street.
  9. Use visible deterrents such as the steering wheel bar, also called the “Club,” to make a vehicle difficult to steal. If you have an alarm system in your vehicle, use it.
  10. Do not leave vehicles running unattended. Minneapolis police may issue citations to unattended parked vehicles left running on the street or in the alley.

For questions, contact:
Don Greeley, Crime Prevention Specialist, Minneapolis Police Department, 3rd Precinct, (612) 673-3482
John Baumann, Crime Prevention Specialist, Midtown Safety Center, 2949 Chicago Ave. S., (612) 825-6138

Fire Safety & Prevention Spring Cleanup List

  • Change your Smoke Alarm Batteries! – if you haven’t already done so (daylight savings is a reminder to “change your clock, change your batteries”), please change the batteries in your smoke alarms. If your smoke alarm is older than 7 years old, then replace it, preferably with a style that includes a 10-year Lithium battery. This style includes a battery that lasts 10 years! You should have smoke alarms on each level of your home, as well as one inside each bedroom. And remember, test your smoke detectors each month. If you, or someone you know, needs a smoke alarm, please call 612-673-3184 or Minneapolis 311.
  • Yard Waste related Garage Fires – we see an increase in garage fires when people put their bags of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, etc.) out for pick up, usually set next to their garage near their garbage cans. These bags attract young fire starters who drop lit matches or burning material into the bags as they are walking by. You can help prevent these fires by setting your yard waste bags out for pick up on the DAY OF PICK UP and no earlier. If you see someone setting these bags on fire, please dial 911 to report it.
  • Bonfires / Recreational Fires – if you would like to enjoy a recreational fire on your property, just make sure it meets the guidelines set forth by the Minneapolis Fire Department. The fire must be contained in a fire pit or free standing structure meant for bonfires; you can ONLY burn Untreated wood – nothing else; the amount of untreated wood must not exceed 3 feet wide or 2 feet tall; the fire must be 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material; you must have a garden hose or fire extinguisher ready; you can only burn between 9am-10pm, and when winds are less than 10mph. More details on the rules for Minneapolis recreational fires can be found here: RecreationalFireRules
  • Grilling Out? – make sure your grill is 15 feet from your home, and that you store charcoal, propane, lighter fluid, and other burning materials in the garage or storage shed away from ignition sources such as matches and lighters. Teach children that the grill is HOT (even if it doesn’t look hot), and keep them well away from the grill at all times.
  • If you live in a multi-residential property, open flame, fire pits, fire places, chimineas and propane (LP) fueled grills with tanks greater than one (1) pound capacity are not allowed on balconies, roofs or within 15 feet of the exterior of multi-unit residential buildings. Ashes and hot coals are not to be stored in combustible receptacles or within 10 feet of combustible materials or combustible construction. More details can be found here: GrillingRules


Home Security Checklist

  1. Are your doors locked whether you are in the house or not?
  2. Is your front door locked while you are in the back yard (and vice versa)?
  3. Do you lock your doors when you leave the house for even a few minutes?
  4. Do you pin your windows? Are they locked when closed?
  5. Are your basement windows locked or permanently secured with screws or bars?
  6. Do you keep your garage doors closed and locked at all times?

Does your home look occupied?

  1. When you are gone for the evening, do you leave an outdoor and outdoor light on?
  2. Do you leave a radio or TV on when your home is not occupied?
  3. When you go on vacation do you have someone:
  • watch your house?
  • move drapes, shades, and blinds?
  • mow the lawn/shovel snow?
  • collect mail and newspapers?

Do you practice yard security?

  1. Do you keep valuables such as bicycles and lawn equipment locked up and out of sight?
  2. Do you lock up tools and ladders after you use them?
  3. Do you keep shrubbery and bushes well trimmed?
  4. If you have a fence, can your neighbors see through it or over it?
  5. If you have exterior lights, do they prevent shadows where burglars could hide at night?
  6. Do you have lights on dusk to dawn at entrances?

Do you practice overall security?

  1. Do you have a block contact list with neighbors’ names, phone numbers, and addresses by your phone?
  2. Do you know how to report suspicious activity or crimes to the police? Do your children know how to report?
  3. Do you ask strangers at your door for proper identification before talking to them?
  4. Do your children tell strangers that you’re “busy” rather than you’re “not home”?
  5. If someone came to the door needing help, would you make the phone call to the police (or other necessary calls) rather than letting the person come in?

For further crime prevention resources, please visit here.

Register your Bike!

Do you plan on going for some springtime bike rides?

Keep in mind that thousands of bikes are stolen in Minneapolis every year. Though many are recovered, most lack identification and are never returned to their owners.

Find out how to register your bike and help ensure that if yours if ever lost or stolen, it can be returned to you here.


Railroad Bridge over the Mississippi

Photo by Kerry Cashman

Photo by Kerry Cashman.

Seward Garage Sale Days

The Seward Garage Sale Days are coming up! Friday May 15th and Saturday May 16th will be the official dates.  Seward Neighborhood Group puts together a map of the participating houses and advertises the event. This is a great opportunity for some spring cleaning and neighborhood fun!

Registration is $18 and gets you on the official map that is advertised widely.

Registration Deadline is Friday, May 8th.

Register here!


Seward Spread Joy Fund

Seward Spread Joy Fund: Winner Announcement

The Seward Spread Joy Fund is a grant program made possible by an anonymous donor and administrated by the Seward Neighborhood Group. Its intention is to provide up to $1,000 every year to allow one Seward resident to have an experience that benefits them or the neighborhood that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. Applicants must not receive physical gain from the grant, they must have lived in Seward for at least three years, and they must make a report of their experience.

At the Seward Neighborhood Group Board meeting in January, qualifying applications for the Seward Spread Joy Fund were placed in a jar to be chosen at random. This year, the winner is Seward’s own Sonja Casey!

Sonja Casey will use the support she received from the Seward Spread Joy Fund to travel as a volunteer Spanish/English interpreter to Quiroga, Bolivia this March. She will be traveling with a non-profit organization MELA (Medical Educators for Latin America) and will be working to open a health center with another non-profit Mano a Mano.  Mano a Mano is a non-profit that opens clinics in rural Bolivia to serve their communities.

During this trip, Sonja plans to travel to Peru to explore Machu Picchu and climb the Inca trail with a few colleagues.  Congratulations Sonja! We look forward to hearing about your experience!


Stay tuned for more information about the Seward Spread Joy Fund! Next year’s winners will be picked at SNG’s Annual Meeting in November.

King’s Fair Planning Committee

This year’s King’s Fair is scheduled for Saturday, September 19th and will be bigger and better than ever before! SNG is forming a planning committee for this event. If you are interested, please call Kerry at 612-877-1928 or email at