‘Suspicious’ morel hunter, burglaries and burned mailboxes

Plus: “What are you wearing, I mean, baking?”

South-West Review police reports June 1, 2014

Inver Grove Heights


— A 24-year-old woman was arrested after a traffic stop (her car had expired registration). Although she was pulled over for something relatively minor, she ended up being arrested because she had a disorderly conduct/fifth-degree assault warrant for her arrest.

—An officer saw an Aitkin, Minnesota, man not quite stop at a red light May 14 at 10:27 a.m. and then ran his plates, which showed there was a warrant for the car owner’s arrest for driving after his license was revoked, with an open bottle of alcohol and no insurance. The driver had thought he had paid his fines and “took care of it,” but the officer still arrested him.

—A 33-year-old Inver Grove Heights man was arrested May 16 at 8:25 p.m., after an officer recognized him while driving as man who had a felony financial transaction fraud warrant in Washington County.


— A 21-year-old Amery man stopped at a local electronics store for about half an hour. When he returned to the parking lot, he found that the car he drove there, a 2003 Olds Alera which belonged to his girlfriend, had been stolen. He reported the missing car May 14. Interestingly, the man who reported it stolen later found it, but he was arrested by the St. Paul Park Police Department, until the two departments cleared up that the man was the one who reported it stolen in the first place. The man didn’t know he had to report it was found.

South St. Paul


— A boozy burglar (actually a thief, but let’s just go with the alliteration thing) bundled boldly, but botched a blood-alcohol blow. An officer was summoned to a liquor store late May 26 on a report of alcohol being stolen. Another officer later spotted a van fitting the description of the thief’s. The first officer located the man driving. The officer asked for the 30-year-old man’s driver’s license and asked if he had been at the liquor store. The driver didn’t respond, but just stared ahead. The officer had the man, who showed signs of intoxication, exit the vehicle. He blew a .22 blood alcohol level. Due to a language barrier, other field tests weren’t offered. The driver was placed under arrest for DWI. A Spanish interpreter helped with the man’s arrest. A test at the station put his blood alcohol content at .19. An order of revocation (of his license) was sent to the man’s listed St. Paul address.

—A 24-year-old man with no known address was arrested at an apartment emitting too much noise for the neighbors to bear May 27 at about 7:37 p.m. The site manager said other residents heard what sounded like fighting earlier. Officers could only hear music. A male tried to leave when the door was opened. An officer recognized him, knowing he had an active warrant for his arrest. While searching the man, the officer found a prescription bottle containing a baggie of marijuana and a glass pipe with burnt marijuana. The man was arrested for the warrant and other charges.

—One in six men who may have smoked marijuana in a hotel will be arrested (at least in this instance). A 29-year-old Inver Grove Heights man was arrested May 24, around 2:35 p.m. A hotel manager called, reporting the smell of marijuana emanating from a room. Officers responded and found the stinky room as well as the six individuals inside it. One of the men had a felony probation violation and was arrested. All the other guys were OK’d.


— A woman reported the afternoon of May 23 that several fraudulent transactions were made on her credit card. A merchant from a department store called to verify a purchase of more than $200 in sandals, because he noticed the shipping and billing addresses were different. There were numerous other transactions over the past month or so, totaling about $2,000. Most appeared to be online purchases, although some were made to businesses on the east and west coasts. The shipping address was Virginia Beach, Virginia. The woman was reimbursed for the false charges.


— You know the saying: “With every door that can’t be forced into with a saw and hammer, a window can be busted open.” On May 26 at about 11:23 a.m., an officer responded to a burglary at the 700 block of 10th Avenue North. The victim went out of town on the 22nd. When she returned home, she found the back door open. It appeared the suspect(s) tried to get in using small hand saw and a hammer, tools that had been stored on the victim’s porch and belonged to her. That didn’t work, so the suspect(s) broke a window next to the back door. The  only item missing was a laptop computer, valued at $500. The tools collected from the scene may be analyzed for DNA/fingerprint evidence.

—Two suspects reportedly tried to break into a business May 22 close to midnight. Officers responded to Illetschko Meats and Smokehouse due to the attempted burglary. No suspects were found, but the door had been forced open. The lock mechanism had been twisted off with some sort of tool, and an alarm went off. Nothing else was disturbed or stolen.


— A 63-year-old man reported his car stolen May 26 at about 6:21 p.m. Early May 27, the car was found by North St. Paul police. It was parked in front of a house of a “well-known trouble maker.” As the officer was confirming that it was stolen, the car vanished, and the officer was unable to locate it. Inexplicably, the car was later found, and towed.  

—A South St. Paul man reported May 22 at 8:38 a.m. that items had been stolen from his car, including $500 gold-plated glasses. He thought he may have left the car unlocked, because there was no sign of forced entry.

West St. Paul


— Welcome home! A resident reported a burglary May 27 at 3 p.m. on the 300 block of Marie Avenue East in an apartment complex. The person was last home early that morning and came home to a broken lock on the door, which was open. A television and laptop was missing in the forced-entry burglary.

Traffic stops

— The law is one of many reasons to buckle up. The afternoons of May 21 and May 22, several drivers were stopped for not wearing seat belts and received tickets.

—“Click it or ticket” doesn’t just apply to one’s self. A man was pulled over recently because he had had a kid in the backseat who was not belted or in a child restraint. The man was given a ticket for having a 7-year-old without a booster seat and not wearing a seat belt.


— Officers were called to Wells Fargo Bank at 1710 Robert St., where a customer reportedly was trying to pass a bad check of $525. The man trying to kite the check apparently has a history of fraud, totaling $2,000 in bad checks at another bank.

Property damage

— BBs were bad bad for a resident’s car recently. A vehicle was shot at with a BB gun May 25, sometime between 2 a.m. and later that afternoon. A window was shattered. The victim had no information on a possible suspect.

— We didn’t start the fire (in your mailbox). Sometime overnight, paper was burned during a fire in a mailbox at the 1200 block of Delaware Avenue. It was reported May 25 at 1:13 p.m.

— A woman reported that someone lit her mailbox on fire May 25 at 1:54 p.m. The inside of the box was melted.


— It was an unlucky day for this duo. A woman, who had a warrant out for her arrest for misdemeanor theft, was arrested during a traffic stop May 26 at about 2 a.m. The other woman in the car was arrested after police searched the car and found meth and pills.

—Someone observed a grocery store customer who seemed to be intoxicated May 26 at 4:25 p.m. The customer was with a small child, and he was getting into a Ford Explorer. He reportedly was so drunk he couldn’t get the vehicle started. When he parked, his bumper hit the vehicle in front of him. He did eventually get the car started and pulled out of the parking spot, but just parked another aisle over. He was then arrested for DWI.

Suspicious person

— An officer on patrol was flagged down by a resident May 26 at 11:14 a.m. who said a male came out of the woods on his property. The “suspicious” man said he was out looking for morel mushrooms, and didn’t know it was private property. The officer updated the reporting resident.

—What are you wearing, I mean, baking? A male recently called a pie shop/restaurant May 27 around 6:34 p.m. He said his name was Officer David Jennings, and he had three questions. The female who answered the phone asked for his badge number, and the male hung up. The same thing happened about two weeks ago, and police had advised employees to report it, if it happened again. Police advised the reporting parties on how to use call capture.


— Someone reported a car stolen May 26 just before 1 p.m. It was a black trailblazer truck. OnStar apparently was going to attempt to track the vehicle.  

— Someone saw a news story about a male stealing cars with a flatbed truck and decided to contact police May 25 about potentially connected incidents in neighboring South St. Paul. The reporting person may have had vehicles stolen from his lot by the same guy who allegedly stole vehicles in West St. Paul. He said he has video footage. He originally filed the report with South St. Paul police.


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