South-West Review police reports Feb. 2, 2014

South-West Review police reports Feb. 2, 2014

— Not every shoplifting outing can be a success, but you can at least aim to break even: a teen who swiped several clothing items at Walmart Jan. 27 fled on foot after he was confronted by loss prevention staff. The thief managed to escape, but only after lightening his load: staff recovered the stolen merchandise by a rear exit, as well as the thief’s own backpack.

Suspicious person
— Wait — you need to give information to get help? A cashier from a tobacco shop on the 1600 block of Robert St. called police Jan. 21 after a man came into the store and began asking pointed questions about the shop owner’s identity and whereabouts. Apparently the cashier’s nerves were frazzled by the stranger’s interrogation: shortly after placing the emergency call, he declared the dispatcher “stupid” for asking questions and hung up. An officer later tracked down the stranger from the store and learned he was attempting to serve legal papers to the owner.
— In this weather, shivering on the street corner is for suckers: police received reports of a couple in a Chevy Malibu at a gas station on the 1800 block of Robert St. Jan 22 rolling down their windows and panhandling from inside the heated car. The vehicle was gone by the time police arrived.

— A purse snatcher apprehended by loss prevention staff at Rainbow Foods Jan. 23 refused to go quietly, brawling with staff and eventually stabbing one person (the injuries were not life-threatening). The culprit, a juvenile, then dashed through the store armed before officers arrived to take him into custody.

Disturbing the peace
— People come and go, but a dog is worth fighting for: a woman called police from 100 block of Westchester Drive Jan. 21 to complain that her ex-boyfriend had broken into her house (he’d moved out two weeks prior). The woman said she had slipped the chain lock shut on the door, but her ex kicked it open and announced he’d come back for his dog. So fixated was the man on getting his dog back that he refused his ex-girlfriend’s request that he take the rest of his possessions. An officer arrived on the scene and advised the man for future reference that it’s better to have police assist with tense property exchanges than kick in doors; the man replied he would do whatever he wanted. The next day he called police and asked for help with the rest of the process.
— This guy probably would have been embarrassed the next day if he remembered anything from the night before: police received a call from a bar and restaurant on the 800 block of Smith Ave. complaining about a customer who waited outside the back door and tried to start fights. The man, a self-described “tough guy gangster,” then apparently ran out of targets so came back inside and tried to fight the bartender. Staff also reported the man had been crying earlier (perhaps because no one would indulge his request to fight). He eventually mellowed out and was picked up by his girlfriend without further incident.

Harassing communications
— Be careful when making a new enemy that you don’t need anything from him: a man called police from an apartment complex on the 300 block of Marie Ave. Jan. 22 to complain that his mailman was withholding his mail. The man said he’d gotten into a verbal spat with his mailman earlier and now he was frustrated because certain items he’d been expecting had not been delivered. An officer provided the man with an incident number and advised him to take his problem to the postal inspector.

Inver Grove Heights

— Just because you’re willing to help a friend doesn’t mean you’re able: an officer performing a routine patrol near the Rock Island Swing Bridge in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 14 found one vehicle firmly planted in a snowbank and another parked and running nearby. The officer met with the driver of the crashed vehicle first, who explained he was on his way home to Apple Valley from a bar when he took a wrong turn. (The directional difficulty made sense to the officer, given the man’s bloodshot, watery eyes and boozy odor.) After he became stuck, the man called his friend to come by and help him out. Unfortunately, his friend had also been drinking, and both men were arrested at the scene for drunk driving.

Disorderly conduct
— Freezing weather does little to cool the friction between angry neighbors: a homeowner on the 8600 block of Beverly Way called police Jan. 10 to report a new flareup in a longstanding feud with his neighbor. The caller said he’d gone out to collect his mail that day and had a run-in with the neighbor, against whom he has a no-contact order stemming from a previous incident. Afterward, the caller drove to McDonald’s to pick up dinner and noticed a vehicle that looked very much like his neighbor’s following him. When the man pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot the other car left; however, on the drive home the pursuer picked up again. After pulling into his garage the man waited for a moment, and soon thereafter his neighbor pulled into his own driveway. The man then asked his neighbor if he was following him while videotaping the encounter; the neighbor replied ominously that his “day’s coming.” The neighbor denied any wrongdoing when questioned by police. The incident report and video were forwarded to Dakota County Probation for possible violations.

Auto theft
— A silver 2002 Audi A4 was reported stolen from the parking lot of an apartment complex on the 1400 block of Upper 55th St. Jan. 14.

South St. Paul

— With shoplifting, as with alcohol, moderation is the key to avoiding unwanted attention: an evening manager and employee at Knowlan’s Grocery confronted a woman Jan. 26 after she was spotted sticking several items down her pants. The woman agreed to surrender the items and never return to the store again if the police were not called, and the manager agreed. As the woman walked away, however, the two men noticed her coat was sagging to one side and again confronted her; again she emptied out several more items. When the manager informed the woman he would now have to involve the police, she made a break for it. In the ensuing tussle one of the men managed to wrest her purse away and extract her driver’s license. She fled without it but returned 10 minutes later and quietly asked for its return; the manager agreed after he scanned it to his computer. After taking down a report, and officer used the address on the license to meet the woman at her home. She apologized for her actions and was cited for misdemeanor theft.

Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
— A woman called police Jan. 23 to ask for some help finding her car. The woman explained she’d lent her blue 2001 BMW 530i to her boyfriend one day in December; by an unfortunate turn of events he was arrested that day and has been in Hennepin County Jail ever since. The woman said she has not seen her car since then, but she’s received word that it’s being used by several people and is increasingly worried it will be used for criminal activity. An officer advised her he would put out a description of the missing vehicle to law enforcement and the car will be impounded upon discovery.

— Several power tools with a combined value of around $750 were reported stolen from a detached garage on the 2000 block of Thompson Ave. Jan. 27.


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