Neighbors battle over bunnies, while West St. Paul battles sewer backup

Plus: Watch out for bike thieves

South-West Review police reports published June 29, 2014 for Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul and West St. Paul

Inver Grove Heights

Thefts
— Was it a pocket air conditioner? Yeah, probably not. A 44-year-old man was trying to return a $399 air conditioner that he had previously been witnessed taking off a shelf at the store where he was trying to return it. A loss prevention employee saw him enter the store emptyhanded June 8. The employee then saw the man take the air conditioner off of the shelf, and carry it to the front desk to try to return it without a receipt. Even though the police had the surveillance footage, the man denied the theft, saying he brought the air conditioner in the store from his vehicle. The man was charged with theft by swindle, a misdemeanor.

—She either has really bad taste or really good taste in lawn ornaments, because they keep disappearing. On June 13, an Inver Grove Heights woman reported items from her yard had been stolen for the third time. This time, flower plants, $46 worth, and a $10 wrought iron plant stand were missing.

—Hey, thief, don’t spend it all in one place. A man apparently left his Cadillac Escalade unlocked, and someone overnight May 31 took about $5 in loose change from the vehicle.

—His bike was stolen, but the thief probably is getting more use out of it than he did. A 31-year-old man reported a $509 mountain bike stolen June 5. The man told police it was probably stolen sometime this winter, because the last time he saw it was in September 2013. He noticed it was missing two days prior to when he reported it.

South St. Paul

Thefts
— A South St. Paul woman on June 19 reported more than $2,700 had been removed from her debit card without her permission. When she tried to use the card at Kaposia Convenience, she discovered a large sum of money had been removed from her account; numerous unauthorized charges were made in Florida and Alabama.

—A North St. Paul man reported a theft June 17. He keeps “petty cash” in a metal lock box in his office inside a locked cabinet. He said, the day before, he went to open it and saw the lock had been broken. $765 was missing. He said the last time he went into the lock box was about six days ago. He is the only one with a key to the box. Unfortunately, there are no surveillance cameras at his South St. Paul business.

—Multiple bikes have been reported stolen from around town in the past week. A resident reported to police that there are rumors of “several kids” who have been stealing bikes around the city. Police said that some of the names were given to the police earlier in the week, and they were identified in another report. The resident had no proof that the kids stole the bikes, but still wanted to inform the police of the names.

—On June 18 around 10:36 a.m., a man reported that he heard noises in his back yard and noticed the motion light come on around 1 a.m.; he saw someone had taken his son’s bicycle. He walked around the neighborhood in an effort to locate the thief, but was unsuccessful.

—A 36-year-old South St. Paul woman’s car was broken into sometime overnight June 18. Items, including a phone charger, CDs, bank receipts and license tab receipts, were stolen. A flashlight that didn’t belong to her was left behind, but police didn’t find it of any evidentiary value.

—Four company vehicles were reported rifled through June 19 at a vehicle parts store. The company manager said nothing of consequence seemed to be missing.

—Although nothing seemed to be stolen, a car was still pretty well ripped apart recently. A South St. Paul woman reported her car had been searched through and items were thrown out of the car, including a stroller, an umbrella and a spare tire.

Threats
— “What’s ‘African Black Magic?’” “Your guess is as good as mine.” A woman reported her mother-in-law called her and threatened her June 15. It probably goes without saying, the woman said that she doesn’t get along with her mother-in-law. She said the mother-in-law called her and told her to leave her son alone. She said the in-law threatened to use “African Black Magic” to kill her. The officer asked what that meant, but the woman was not sure. She said she wasn’t scared of the mother-in-law coming to the house and killing her. The officer told her how to get a restraining order.

Found property
— Her’s another symptom of car break-ins. A man found an air compressor and a shop light in his front yard June 19 around 4 p.m. on the 600 block of Concord Street North. Numerous vehicles on the street had been broken into overnight.

West St. Paul

Scam
— A man reported a rental scam June 18, where someone claimed to be renting out 683 Marie Ave., but the resident wasn’t able to view it. The man and his wife found a house on rentbiz.com, and sent their personal information, including their Social Security numbers and references, via email. The person claiming to rent the space then started asking for money, but the couple denied the request. The house is also listed for sale at zillow.com. Police told the man it was a scam, that he shouldn’t send money and he should watch his credit, as his information could be used for identity theft now.   

Rain-related calls
— City staff was sent out on the emergency repair of a sewer June 18 at 11:22 a.m. at the 400 block of Mendota Road West. There were more than a dozen calls from residents requesting help with their sewage-soaked basements.

—A tree fell on wires June 18 at 5:18 p.m. at 1103 Harmon Avenue. It was sparking and arcing. There was a report of the back of the house being on fire, but there was no active fire when officials responded to the home. Emergency personnel helped with traffic and the crowd of onlookers. 

—A woman had water coming in the back door and down the stairs at her house at the 400 block of Ruby Drive. She wanted the city to come and pump out her basement June 19 at 6:34 a.m. Dispatch advised the resident to contact a private company, if she had water in her basement. The water was not a result of city sewer backup.

—A pond in a resident’s backyard was overflowing June 19 at 9:15 a.m. at the 2000 block of Pine Ridge Drive. Water was about 15 feet from the home. Public works was notified. About half an hour later, the pond started to flood.

—Sewer backup, basement flooding June 19 at 9:52 a.m. at the 1000 block of Ohio Street; 11:09 a.m. on the 100 block of Mainzer Street; 11:16 a.m. on the 1000 block of Allen Avenue; 11:21 a.m. at the 400 block of Ruby Drive; 11:25 a.m. June 19 at the 100 block of Haskell Street East; 12:09 p.m. on the 100 block of Mainzer Street; 1 p.m. on the 400 block of Ruby Drive; 2:16 p.m. on the 1000 block of Humboldt Avenue.

—Water flowing into a basement at 2:42 p.m. on the 1000 block of Bidwell Street. There were more flooding calls in the next day or so than there is space to write them.

Suspicious person (kinda)
— A St. Paul woman flagged down an officer, thinking the squad car may have been a taxi June 19 at 2 a.m. The officer explained it’s a police car. She decided to walk the few blocks back home.

Animal call
— And now for a brief battle over bunnies. A woman called the police the afternoon of June 19, because her neighbor took some bunnies from their nest to let his kids play with them. She was advised that it was not a police matter; it was not a crime. She said she understood, but she just wanted to say something. She called back later, claiming her neighbor threw what she thought was a dead bunny on her porch. She just heard a thunk and assumed it was the neighbor. The officer advised them to “stay away from each other.”  The officer then released the live rabbit back into the wild.

Thefts
— A couple reported two wedding rings stolen June 22. They were last seen June 1, and were worth $3,200. The residents thought that a burglar may have entered the house through an unlocked front door, and grabbed them from the dining room table, because, you know, that’s a normal place to store valuable rings.

 

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