Creative excuses in SSP: ‘I’m here because the door was open’

Not to mention 'I work in my pajamas'

South-West Review police reports May 18, 2014

Inver Grove Heights

Animal impound
— Some dog owner should not only not own this dog, but should not own any dog ever again. A man found a young black lab running loose in Oakwood Park May 2 around 4:30 p.m. The dog was wearing a red nylon collar with no tags. Written on the collar: “Who owns this dog? You do.” Also attached to the dog was a leash from the South St. Paul Animal Hospital. The dog was transported to the South St. Paul Animal Hospital, where, unsurprisingly, no identification chip was found on the pup.

— An officer was patrolling with a squad car equipped with a license plate reader, and received a hit April 29 at 3:35 p.m. on a vehicle whose owner had a revoked license. When the officer pulled over the 30-year-old South St. Paul man behind the wheel, the driver claimed he had already cleared his driving status with the DMV; that he already took care of a warrant out for his arrest. When the officer could find no evidence that either of those things had happened, the man cried and yelled, claiming he had mental health issues, a heart condition, agoraphobia, and that he doesn’t like small spaces -- or germs. The car was towed and the man was cited for driving after revocation and taken to jail, small spaces and germs notwithstanding.

— An officer was dispatched to a convenience store April 25 at nearly 9 p.m. Two women and a man reportedly were asking customers for money. The officer found the people in question at a nearby gas station, identified them and checked for any warrants under their names. A 51-year-old woman was arrested for a warrant related to a theft and another related to a contempt of court charge; she was taken to jail.

— Responding to a home alarm, an officer found an elderly Burnsville man half-out a broken window on the rear side of a house very early April 28. The man, who had cuts on his hands, said the homeowner was a friend of his and was expecting him for a business meeting. He said he went to the house, and found nobody was home. He said his phone battery was dead (it wasn’t), and his car battery was dead, so he decided to break in, use a phone and warm up. The officer said the man seemed to be aware of his surroundings, but his explanation didn’t make sense. The man said he worked for the homeowner and his father, and “the guys at the shop were going to give him hell for this.” The father showed up, and said the man has been having dementia issues; he used to work for the homeowner 10 years ago. There was about $800 of damage. The homeowner didn’t press charges; the elderly man was transported to a hospital.

— One-a-burgle, two-a-burgle, three-a-burgle, four (a-car theft?) An Inver Grove Heights man apparently had an unwanted visitor overnight April 26, and he wasn’t the only one. That afternoon, he reported a $500 laptop and a designer leather briefcase stolen. He woke up around 3 a.m., and saw the basement lights on, but apparently didn’t think anything of it. He noticed much later his briefcase was missing, which contained reports for work, business cards and his computer. There were two other burglaries (one at the 5400 block of Robert Trail, and the other at the 5900 block of Bacon Avenue) and a car was stolen in the area around that time.

South St. Paul

— A woman’s $600 stolen phone was reported found May 9. It was found when someone bought the phone for $350 from an ad on Craigslist, and the phone had a message that said it was stolen. The phone originally was stolen at a school, and so police are reviewing camera footage for a possible suspect.

— Officers were dispatched to a home late May 10. A 31-year-old man was in his backyard, heard the sound of glass break, and so walked around his house, entering through the front door. A male he didn’t know was in his living room, holding his laptop and a bag of personal items. “What the hell are you doing in my house?” the man said. The intruder responded, “The door was open, so I let myself in.” Amazingly, the man was able to grab his stuff from the suspect without a fight. The suspect fled on foot, but the man waited to call police until he checked the rest of his house for missing items. His checkbook was missing. Partly because police weren’t called for 10 or 15 minutes, officers were unable to locate a suspect.

— A South St. Paul woman reported May 10 that her debit card balance was missing approximately $300. She used her credit car last night around midnight, and had a balance of $650. She provided no further information, and she didn’t know who could’ve possibly used her card.

— An elderly dog apparently mistook its elderly owner’s grandson for a chew toy. A 10-year-old Pomeranian named “Stinky” -- let that soak in for a minute -- bit a man who lives with his grandmother. The man had apparently put the dog into a van by gripping its collar. Apparently not a fan of being yanked in, the dog jumped up and bit him, breaking the skin and drawing blood. The dog ran off. Paramedics bandaged the man’s wrist, and advised him to seek medical attention. No word on if the dog’s homeward bound.

— Maybe if it were casual Friday, the whole pajamas-at-work excuse might’ve worked out. A South St. Paul man was arrested early May 6, after an officer saw him driving and recognized him as a man who’s been caught several times driving without a license (it’s revoked). The officer said the man definitely knew he couldn’t be driving since he had been arrested numerous times for the offense as recently as the week prior. At one point, the man said he was going to work, even though he was wearing his pajamas. Backpedaling, he then said he was going to the gas station. It remains unclear whether the man works in the best office ever or just needed to fill up.

— Since going to work wasn’t rough enough already, a Faribault man showed up to his job in South St. Paul in May 7, and ended up getting arrested. He had a warrant out for his arrest, and so the police contacted the local business; management told police his work schedule, and then officers arrived during his shift to take him into custody for the charges (misdemeanor DWI, failure to appear, driving without a valid license, using a fictitious name, giving false statements AND fact fraud).

— A spider-like crack in a windshield ended up being the web that snagged this guy. An officer pulled over a man with a foot-long crack in his windshield May 12. The driver happened to have an arrest warrant against him for disorderly conduct; he was arrested.

West St. Paul

— Apparently people still aren’t getting the message: Lock your car doors and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle! A woman reported early May 7 that her purse had been taken from her car parked in her driveway overnight. The doors were unlocked, and the purse was resting (conveniently for the thief) on the front passenger seat. Bright side? There wasn’t any fraudulent activity on her bank account -- yet.

— And another Honda bites the dust. A 2000 Honda CRV was reported missing May 7 from an apartment complext southeast of Marie Avenue West. Luckily, it was found later on Westview.

— Sometimes locking things up still doesn’t do the trick. Someone reported close to 11 a.m. May 7 a vehicle was broken into; the padlock was cut and the hinge was damaged on the rear door of the box truck sometime overnight. Several items were missing; there were no serial numbers on any of them.

— Whether it’s to get cool or get money, these criminals seem to be planning for a hot summer. A commercial size air conditioning unit (valued at $5,000 -- ouch) was stolen possibly around noon May 7. The crime was reported a few hours later. There were tire marks noted as evidence.

Found property
— Good news? I found your purse. Bad news? You’re under arrest. A purse was left at a cell phone store May 7. It happened to belong to a woman who has a warrant out for her arrest, due to a felony charge against her.

—  A refrigerator was found on the side of the street the night of May 8. The caller told police that he or she was worried kids playing will lock themselves in and suffocate. No one answered the door at the associated home. A photo was taken of the fridge in front of yard of house. The fridge remained unsecured. Information was passed along to code enforcement to check on it.  

Suspicious persons
— An officer had to remind a group of adults about something most folks learn in kindergarten: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Someone reported that three older males were hanging out at a fast-food restaurant May 8 around 7 p.m., making sexual comments to the younger females coming in. An officer spoke with males inside, and they denied making “any comments about anyone today.” The officer found that it seemed the man who reported the catcalling and the other men were all friends, adding that it appeared to be “a falling out of sorts” with everyone pointing fingers at one another and accusing him of making sexual and racist comments. The officer advised them all that “if they cannot get along with each other that they should just stop having contact with one another.” 

— “What are you wearing?” may have been among the questions some guy was hoping to find out the morning of May 10. Someone called a fast-food restaurant from a blocked number, saying he was a police officer, but withholding his name and department. He apparently asked personal questions about the worker who answered the phone. She didn’t answer them, and tried to give her manager the phone. The man hung up. She was told that an officer calling would usually identify themselves and their department.

Juvenile complaint
— These kids may not be able to keep up their pants, but they sure can keep up appearances. Someone reported seeing boys pulling their pants down in front of passing traffic around 8 p.m. May 9. A male and a female apparently pulled their pants down. The officer saw the male’s pants were sagging, and the male claimed they just slid down. As for the girl, she said she was wearing shorts, got cold, and then pulled up some jeans to warm up. The officer advised them all “on better choices with clothing in public.” Thankfully, “no nudity (was) seen by anyone.”

Traffic stop
— A juvenile driver was pulled over for running a stop sign and swerving around May 10 at 1:27 a.m. The kid was ticketed for underage drinking and driving, and was released to his or her mother.

Child protection
— Someone found a toddler in  her backyard May 10, just after noon. The caller brought the child into her home, and then contacted police. The 3-year-old girl had bundled nearly half a mile away from her house. Her parents were somehow unaware she had left.

— When your neighbors can hear the moaning, you’re probably not being as discrete as you think you are. A neighbor reported late May 10 that a man in another apartment was watching pornographic material very loudly, and keeps waking her up. On arrival, the officer didn’t hear loud noises from outside the apartment. An officer talked to the man; the man said his neighbor calls police on him a lot. He was advised of the reason for the officer’s visit. 

— Apparently hiding sometimes works. A neighbor reported loud bass music and people talking loudly from a neighboring apartment around 1 a.m. May 11. Once the officer knocked on the door, though, the only noise was footsteps; then the deadbolt locking, and lot of sounds of doors closing, the patio door opening and closing, blinds being pulled, and obvious cleaning up. The apartment got quiet, except for forced whispers: “Be quiet for awhile; he’ll go away.” The officer knocked several times, but no one answered the door.

—These mouthy kids ignored multiple signs they were doing something wrong. First, they went right past the “no trespassing” sign, and pulled their canoe onto private property to launch into a lake May 10. Then, a nearby homeowner confronted them, but they “got a little lippy” and continued their public access from private property. Finally, the homeowner called the cops around 6 p.m., and had an officer lay down the law. The teens quickly admitted that they knew they were in the wrong. They told the officer they didn’t have a lake pass from an area resident and that they didn’t have permission to be on the lake.


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