Cellphone grab at Bloomington Walmart is least of suspect’s legal woes

A 27-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested for robbery, accused of snatching a cellphone from a man inside the Bloomington Walmart store.

The suspect was arrested in the parking lot outside Walmart moments after the incident, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.

The victim, a 32-year-old Minneapolis man, was seated at a table in the Subway restaurant inside the store shortly after 9 p.m. Jan 26. As the victim was using his cellphone, the suspect and his female companion were attempting to strike up a conversation with him. The suspect then approached the victim, grabbed the cellphone from him and began to walk away, Clauson explained.

The victim followed the suspect, who threatened to assault him. The victim continued to follow him, however, and the suspect continued to threaten the victim outside the store. The victim then returned to the store and asked employees to call the police.

Officers arrived and were able to identify the suspect in the parking lot, resulting in his arrest, Clauson said. Video surveillance inside the store provided confirmation that the suspect had taken the cellphone from the victim, she noted. The suspect claimed he did not have identification and gave a false name.

The photo connected to the name given by the suspect resembled him, but the arresting officer was uncertain that the suspect gave his correct name. After asking questions about prior convictions and police contacts associated with the name that the suspect gave, the officer determined that the suspect did not give his name. The suspect finally gave his name while being transported to jail, Clauson said.

The suspect was booked on suspicion of robbery and giving a false name to a police officer. He also had three outstanding warrants, two from Ramsey County and one from Washington County, Clauson added.

Shoplifting arrest

A 25-year-old Minneapolis man’s poorly planned shopping spree at Walmart ended with him being booked for shoplifting, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a counterfeit bill.

Police officers had already been dispatched to Walmart at approximately 2 p.m. Feb. 1 on an unrelated shoplifting case when a loss prevention officer reported that the suspect was in the store restroom, possibly using narcotics in a restroom stall, Clauson said.

The suspect exited the restroom and attempted to flee the store, but was stopped by a police officer and loss prevention officer. The suspect was wearing a watch from the store, had a pair of earrings in his pocket and had components for a portable charger in his pockets and socks. All of the items were unpaid store merchandise, according to Clauson.

The suspect was also found to have suspected heroin on him, as well as a straw that appeared to have narcotics residue, and a counterfeit $100 bill, she noted.

Joyride ends early

A 39-year-old Shakopee man and his son’s teenage friends went on a Saturday night joyride in Bloomington. Unfortunately for the group, their joyride was in a stolen vehicle.

The driver and his three teenage passengers were arrested shortly after 10 p.m. Jan. 28. A patrol officer passing their vehicle near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Portland Avenue received a report from a license plate scan that the vehicle had been stolen in Shakopee Jan. 22, Clauson said.

The officer had to turn around in order to track down the vehicle, which headed westbound on I-494. The officer caught up with the vehicle as it was exiting at Penn Avenue and pulled it over near the intersection of Morgan Avenue and American Boulevard, according to Clauson.

The Shakopee man and three Shakopee teens, ages 14, 16 and 17, were arrested. The 17-year-old boy was driving the vehicle and found to be in possession of marijuana and prescription narcotics that were not prescribed to him, Clauson noted.

The vehicle had been stolen Jan. 22 after its owner left it running in his driveway, she added.

Card fraud

A 48-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud, accused of using credit card information for an extended stay at a Bloomington hotel.

The suspect was arrested Jan. 31 at Microtel Inn & Suites, 801 E. 78th St., after the police department received a report that a company credit card from a Brooklyn Park business was being used to pay for a room at the hotel, according to Clauson.

Police officers went to the hotel room following the report, but it was unoccupied. The hotel called at 2:30 p.m., however, to report that the suspect had returned to the hotel. He had booked the hotel room online, from Jan. 10-26, using the credit card information of the Brooklyn Park business, and had booked a second stay from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5 using the same card information and same online reservation system, Clauson explained.

It was unknown how the suspect obtained the credit card information, as there was no evidence he had possession of the card, Clauson noted.