‘Masterminds of Crime’ category still blank in West St. Paul

South-West Review police reports Nov, 17, 2013

Marital strategy: let the air out of his tires

West St. Paul

–– Shoplifter’s Rule No. 3: don’t tip your hand too early. Loss prevention staff at Walmart called police Nov. 6 when a suspect from a previous shoplifting incident entered the store wearing a shirt with the word “RUN” printed on it. The man lurked around the electronics department briefly before slipping two laptops into his backpack. Police confronted the man as he exited the front entrance and, true to his attire, the man took off on foot.
Next time perhaps the man should try a shirt that says “SUCCESS” or “ESCAPE” as officers managed to catch up with him on the far side of Livingston Avenue and take him into custody.
–– Shoplifter’s Rule No. 4: if you’re using a getaway driver, don’t ad-lib the rendezvous. Police were called to Walmart Nov. 7 on a report of a couple lugging a tote filled with automotive and electronic merchandise around the store. The woman then left by vehicle without the goods; the man slipped out with the tote a while later and sprinted across the parking lot. He was spotted standing in front of a nearby restaurant attempting to wave down his driver, but ended up getting a ride with police instead.

Suspicious activity
–– A man called police Nov. 11 to report an unusual experience he had while leaving a liquor store near the intersection of Butler Avenue and Robert Street. The said two “kids” approached him as he walked out of the store and asked him “Are you tired of liquor?” Sensing they were about to offer him something other than an invitation to AA, the man continued on his way. He was unable to provide a clear description of the pair to police, however, and officers did not find the suspects at the scene.

Damage to property
–– There’s lots of ways to keep the ones we love close to our hearts: police were called to an apartment building on the 1500 block of Allen Ave. Nov. 6 on a report of a woman letting air out of car tires in the parking lot. An officer confronted the suspect and she explained she co-owned the car in question with her husband and was letting air out to keep him at home for the night.

–– There’s few places like a gas station to learn all the angles: police were called to a station on the 1200 block of Robert St. Nov. 6 after a man asked the cashier to break a $100 bill for him, then complained that one of the $20 bills he received was counterfeit. The manager contended the man had not received the $20 from his till and refused to exchange the bill. Between the manager’s resolve and the police presence, the man buckled and decided to let it go.

Animal call
–– Apparently the bond between German shepherds and law enforcement is learned, not instinctive: an officer pulled over on the 1800 block of Oakdale Ave. Nov. 7 and attempted to corral a young shepherd on the loose. The officer offered the dog a bone and a ride in the car, but the dog remained skittish. “Despite trying all the tricks I learned on ‘The Dog Whisperer,’ I was unable to catch her,” the officer wrote.

Found property
–– In a classic test of character, this stranger passed with flying colors: police receive a report of a found wallet on the 2000 block of Robert St. Nov. 7. The caller waited at the location for an officer to arrive so he could turn it in. The officer then contacted the owner and returned the wallet; after an inspection the owner told the officer all the contents, including $60 cash, were right where he left them.

Public assist
–– Further proof that some of the best police work happens in the absence of crime: an elderly woman called 911 Nov. 7 to say the power in her telephone handset was getting low and she wanted the South Metro Fire Department to come by her home and fix it in case she had an emergency. The dispatcher informed the woman that was not a service the fire department provided, but a police officer stopped by the woman’s home on Thompson Avenue to show her how to recharge the phone and change the batteries if needed.

Inver Grove Heights


South St. Paul

–– Ever wonder how the people who drive giant SUVs can afford the gas? Here’s one solution: police were called to a gas station on the 1100 block of Concord St. Nov. 12 on a report of a gas drive-off. A station employee told police the culprit pumped $98.69 worth of gas into a Chevy Suburban, then left the pump out of its dock so the transaction wouldn’t register as complete. The employee managed to write down the license plate as the vehicle drove off; police ran the info and learned the vehicle was listed as stolen out of St. Paul.
–– It takes guts to rip someone off and then rebuke him; well, guts, but maybe not brains: a cab driver who gave three passengers a ride from downtown Minneapolis to the 600 block of Stewart Ave. Nov. 2 became agitated when the passengers shuffled out of his car and made a break for the house without paying the $47 fare. The cab driver hopped out and gave chase until one of the male passengers warned him to get back in the cab or face bodily harm. The cabbie then called police, who knocked on the door of the home but received an equally icy reception. The suspect denied knowledge of the incident and refused to open the door for officers, and bid them to leave the property unless they had a warrant. On the way out, however, one of the officers used the license plate of a vehicle parked in the driveway to get an ID on one of the suspects (and also learned he had two active warrants). He was later mailed a citation for theft of services.

Auto theft
–– A lavender 1991 Honda Accord was reported stolen from a parking lot on the 100 block of Hardman Ave. Nov. 12.

Warrant arrest
–– You may not shoot your eye out, but you will end up in jail: an officer patrolling Concord Street Nov. 12 pulled over a green Ford Taurus without license plates after clocking the vehicle at 61 mph in a 35 mph zone. Upon the officer’s request for license and registration, the 20-year-old driver replied he did not have a driver’s license, nor any proof of ID, nor insurance on the vehicle. He also said he was unaware of the speed limit, but he was in a hurry to pick up his girlfriend from work. The officer then checked the name the man gave him in the DVS database and learned he had an active felony assault warrant. After backup arrived, the officers searched the man’s vehicle and found two pistol-style BB guns that were nearly indistinguishable from the real deal; given the driver’s two previous felony convictions these were enough to garner a firearm violation in addition to the assault charges. He was arrested at the scene and transported to Dakota County Jail.

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