Cell phone snatching at Mall of America results in arrest of Minneapolis teen

A 15-year-old Minneapolis boy was arrested for robbery and a 13-year-old Minneapolis boy was cited for fifth-degree assault after a cell phone theft at Mall of America.

A 45-year-old Ankney, Iowa, man was checking sports scores on his iPhone outside of the restaurants on the mall’s fourth floor at approximately 4:40 p.m. March 21 when the 15-year-old boy allegedly grabbed the man’s phone and took off running, according to Bloomington Police Commander Vic Poyer.

The victim chased the 13-year-old boy who was running along with the perpetrator, grabbing him by his sweatshirt in an effort to detain him. The boy slipped out of the sweatshirt and punched the victim in the face, Poyer explained.

A 37-year-old sheriff’s deputy from Rogers, Ark., saw the incident and detained the boy until mall security arrived, Poyer said.

Based upon a description of the 15-year-old, mall security officers identified a male matching the description waiting for a train at the mall’s light rail station. Police officers questioned the boy, who denied knowledge of the incident and consented to a search. The search turned up an iPhone, which rang after an officer called the victim’s phone number, resulting in the boys arrest, Poyer explained.

Bus ruckus

An 18-year-old man with no permanent address was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage to property after an incident on a Metro Transit bus.

The suspect was one of four males traveling on a bus from the Mall of America at approximately 10 p.m. March 22. The bus driver called police after stopping the bus at the intersection of Old Shakopee Road and Beard Avenue, according to Poyer.

The suspect had been arguing with a passenger on the bus prior to the quartet getting off at Beard Avenue. When the passenger responded to a gesture the suspect made from outside the bus, the suspect boarded the bus again and approached the passenger, Poyer explained.

The driver, a 32-year-old St. Paul man, attempted to intervene when the suspect allegedly punched a bus window, causing it to shatter, according to Poyer. The suspect quickly fled the bus and the quartet fled the area on foot, Poyer noted.

Officers responding to the report were able to identify the quartet nearby, including the suspect, who was wearing a Green Bay Packers Jacket, Poyer said.