Reason to stay sober: the truck you save may be your own

South-West Review police reports Dec. 15, 2013

West St. Paul

Drug activity —  It’s a stoner idea that actually worked: an officer responding to a complaint of marijuana odors at an apartment building on the 300 block of Marie Ave. Dec. 9 got a powerful blast in the hallway, but was unable to follow the scent to any specific unit. A tipster informed police that was because the offenders actually smoked in the hallway, and then returned to their respective apartments afterward to avoid ties to the offending odor.

Theft —  Odd behavior in a store often reveals bad intentions, but sometimes it’s just a reminder that winter is tough: a Cub Foods employee called police Dec. 9 to warn them two men had left their car running in the parking lot while they filled up two grocery carts with various meats. To everyone’s surprise, however, the men paid for the items and sauntered out to their well-warmed car.
—Whatever revolutionary approach to shoplifting you come up with, just assume it’s already been tried: loss prevention staff at Target called police Dec. 8 to report a known shoplifter filling up a cart with bedding supplies. They also advised police to park around the side of the building, because it appeared the shoplifter had a spotter waiting for her out front. As predicted, the woman headed straight for the exit without passing the registers, but the officer who’d been lying in wait pulled over the getaway vehicle by the time it reached Lothenbach Avenue. The shoplifter, who also happened to have outstanding warrants, was identified by Target employees and arrested at the scene.

Disturbing the peace —  Sometimes our cutting edge technology can make it difficult to separate the virtual from reality: police responded to a report of a young couple shouting and crying over an extended period in an apartment on the 300 block of Marie Ave. Dec. 10. When the couple answered the door, however, they explained they were playing video games together and had been shouting at the TV.

Public assist —  Further proof that some of the best police work happens in the absence of crime: police received a report from a passing motorist of a baby abandoned at a bus stop near Bernard Street and Robert Street. A second report came in soon afterwards from someone who stopped to investigate and discovered it was actually an empty stroller with no baby inside. Instead of leaving it at that, an officer tracked down the owner of the stroller at the nearby Walgreens, where she explained she’d had to lift her baby out and walk due to the heavy snow. The officer then scooped up the stroller and gave the mother and child a ride home.

Drunkenness —  Everyone knows you’re not supposed to let people drive drunk, but few realize how unpleasant a task that can be: police were called to Perkins the evening of Dec. 5 after two intoxicated customers became unruly while waiting for a cab. An officer showed up to provide them with a ride instead —  directly to detox. A manager at Perkins contacted the officer later that evening and said one of the culprits had called from detox and threatened to sue over the incident; the officer replied he would contact the detox staff and have them limit the man’s phone access until he sobered up.

Threats —  It’s probably a safe bet this neighbor is off the Christmas card list: a resident at an apartment complex on the 1200 block of Gorman Ave. called police Dec. 7 to complain that another tenant threatened her with a snow shovel in the laundry room and called her a monkey. An officer met with the other tenant, who said he never threatened the woman and was merely rinsing his shovel in the washtub. As far as the monkey comment, the man explained he’d said that because “she was acting like a monkey.” The officer advised the man to give the woman some space and choose his words more carefully in the future.

Inver Grove Heights


South St. Paul

Auto theft —  No matter how much you hate sitting in a cold car, you should always consider how much colder you’d be walking: a white 1997 Honda Acura was reported stolen on the 1200 block of Southview Blvd. after the owner left it unlocked and running to warm up while she went inside.

Damage to property —  It’s no secret that print newspapers are desperate to get readers’ attention in a rapidly-shifting media landscape, but this probably isn’t the way: a homeowner on the 200 block of 10th Ave. called police Dec. 8 to report damage to his storm door. The man said he’d heard shattering glass early that morning, and went he went to investigate he found the Sunday edition (of a newspaper other than the South-West Review) lying in a pile of broken glass where his storm door used to be. The man said he planned to contact the newspaper for reimbursement and just wanted a police report on file.

Drug activity —  It’s not holiday cheer that has this guy so animated: following a run-in with Inver Grove Heights Police Dec. 4 for a series of bizarre antics, a man was transported to his mother’s home on the 2000 block of Caroline Lane to lie low while his intoxicants wore off. The mother called South St. Paul Police a short time later, however, to say things had not gotten better; her son was making a scene in the driveway and had just broken the window of a parked truck. The man rushed officers who arrived at the scene, flailing his arms and shouting. Officers managed to wrestle the man down and put him in handcuffs, but not before he bent the antenna on the truck and ripped off one of the side mirrors. Once restrained, police searched the man and found a glass pipe containing residue of what they believed to be methamphetamine. The man was transported to Dakota County Jail where he was booked for possession of a fifth-degree controlled substance; police dropped a property damage charge after learning the truck the man mangled was actually his own.

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