South-West Review police reports Feb. 9, 2014

South-West Review police reports Feb. 9, 2014

—If you can’t run and won’t fight, sometimes there’s nothing left but to break down in tears: when confronted by loss prevention staff at Rainbow Feb. 3, an inveterate shoplifter began crying and saying she feared police involvement because she had a warrant out for her arrest. She left the store after surrendering more than $100 worth of stolen merchandise; store management promised to deliver surveillance footage to police to help identify her in the future.

911 Hangup
—Dispatch received an emergency call Feb. 3 followed by an immediate disconnect. The dispatcher called the number back and learned there was no emergency—the caller had simply wanted to test her new phone. The dispatcher advised the woman the 9 and 1 buttons work very well.

Suspicious person
—It’s harder for police to help if you won’t tell them what’s going on: a woman called police from her apartment on the 900 block of Robert St. Feb. 3 complaining that a stranger was banging on her door and threatening to kick it down as well as throwing chunks of snow at her window. An officer met with the man and learned he was, in fact, known to the woman: he was anxious to get into her apartment because he believed his wallet was inside. The officer then met with the woman, who denied having the wallet. Upon further questioning, she explained she hadn’t identified the man because she didn’t want him to get in trouble — she’d hoped that simply calling the police would scare him away.

—This guy might want to brush up on his spying skills: a resident of a condo complex on the 1800 block of Livingston called police to report a unknown man sitting in a car in front of one unit’s garage. An officer met with the stranger, who explained he was a private eye working a case. One can only hope his target didn’t find him as conspicuous as the concerned resident.
Burglary—After breaking in through a side window, burglars reportedly stole and Xbox, TVs and baby supplies from a home on the 100 block of Butler Ave. Jan. 28.

—No crime, no motive, no clue what’s going on: employees at a tire shop on the 1500 block of Robert St. called police Jan. 29 to report a woman who walked in and declared she was intoxicated. Employees said they became further concerned when she mentioned driving to the store drunk, and they agreed to stall her until police arrived. Once an officer made it to the scene, however, the woman denied she was drunk or ever making such a claim. After a few minutes the officer determined she actually was sober and allowed her to leave.

Auto theft
—Subtlety is overrated: police were called to a home on the 1000 block of Livingston Ave. Jan. 29 on a report of a stolen vehicle. The car owner explained he’d dropped the car off for a mechanic friend to repair. Sometime later, a tow truck driver arrived and said he had to take the car, so the mechanic handed over the keys. Unfortunately, the only reason to take the car was personal gain. The vehicle, a 2003 Saab, has been listed as stolen.

Inver Grove Heights

—Ancient justice called for a tooth for a tooth, but in modern times a personal check is also acceptable: a man came into the police station Jan. 20 claiming he’d been the victim of an attack at a bar on the 6400 block of Concord Blvd. Jan. 3. The man said he’d been drinking and chatting with a woman when a stranger walked up and punched him in the face. The attacker was promptly bounced from the bar and the victim finished out the night with a busted lip. When asked why he waited so long to report the incident, the man said he wasn’t until he was eating the next day that a piece of his tooth broke off. His dentist was able to glue the tooth together, but the dentist warned him he’d need a new crown at a cost of about $2,000. Not surprisingly, the man has become intensely interested in finding a culpable party to reimburse him for his misfortune.

 Traffic stop
—Is there such a thing as serendipity in police work? An officer patrolling Southview Boulevard Jan. 25 ran the plates on an eastbound vehicle and determined the owner had a suspended license. The officer pulled the vehicle over at 21st Ave. and Southview, but the driver claimed he was not the registered owner and did have a valid license (which was true). While the driver was fishing for his license to prove his innocence, the officer asked the driver’s passenger for his ID as well. The man handed it over and the officer ran it against the database and learned he had two warrants out of Hennepin County. The passenger was arrested at the scene.

South St. Paul

Harassing communications
—This probably isn’t the way to win converts: a woman called police Feb. 3 to complain that someone had been writing out passages of scripture and taping them to her apartment door. The woman said she suspected her upstairs neighbor because he often posted verses on his own door. The woman said many times his selections left her vaguely disturbed; for instance, after arguing with him over the volume of her TV, she received Psalm 37:1-2: “Don’t bother your head with the wicked, for in no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.” The officer attempted to make contact both with the suspect and the landlord, but neither answered their doors. The woman was advised to contact police again if the notes continue.

Traffic stop
—You’re innocent until you prove yourself guilty: officers pulled over a vehicle at Seventh Avenue and Eighth Street in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 1 after the car rolled through a stop sign. Upon making contact, the driver admitted his license was suspended; his passenger fumbled in the glove box for proof of insurance, insisting the vehicle was insured. The officers momentarily returned to the squad car to run the pair’s licenses. While watching from the squad, however, they noticed that both the driver and the passenger had slumped down in their seats and were making furtive motions around the vehicle’s center console. The officers approached the vehicle again and asked the occupants what they were doing, to which they responded they’d been simply digging for cigarettes. Noting a potential safety risk, the officers searched the vehicle and quickly found a dirty bubble pipe and an empty baggie. The driver was cited for the suspended license, no proof of insurance and drug paraphernalia.

Auto theft
—A gold 2001 Volkswagen Passat was reported stolen from the 800 block of Sixth Ave. Feb. 1. The owner said he’d left the vehicle running and stepped inside to grab a cup of coffee. When he pulled back the drapes and looked out at the street, he saw a white male in his 30s driving away with his car.

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