Bloomington hotel parking lot patrol nets suspected forgers

Two men who drew the suspicion of a Bloomington police officer wound up arrested on suspicion of forgery and possession of a controlled substance outside a Bloomington hotel.

The men were arrested late in the evening of Feb. 21 after an officer noticed them sitting inside an idling vehicle in the parking lot of Quality Inn and Suites, 814 American Blvd. E., according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.

The vehicle shut its lights off as the officer drove by, and the men inside the vehicle appeared to be surveying the area. The officer stopped to speak with the men, who claimed they were waiting to meet a friend, Clauson said.

The duo appeared nervous, and the men verbally identified themselves, claiming they didn’t have identification in their possession. When the officer was unable to verify their identity, the men acknowledged giving false names, Clauson noted.

It turned out that both men had outstanding warrants for check forgery, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property, resulting in their arrests. Inside their vehicle, officers found printers and a variety of checks, many being attached to corporate accounts. Some of the checks were connected to a variety of Dakota County businesses, and some appeared to be payroll checks, Clauson explained. The collection included blank checks as well, she noted.

Suspected heroin was found in the glove compartment of the vehicle, and a bag of suspected methamphetamine was found on the ground outside the vehicle, Clauson said.

Arrested were a 31-year-old St. Paul man and a 30-year-old Hastings man. Both were booked on suspicion of fraud, forgery and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Prostitution

A search for a teenager suspected of working as a prostitute brought Minneapolis and St. Paul police officers to a Bloomington hotel, ending with the arrest of three people, including a 26-year-old Albertville man who is accused of assaulting a Bloomington police officer.

The trio was arrested Feb. 10 after Minneapolis police officers contacted the Bloomington Police Department regarding a prostitution case they were investigating. Minneapolis investigators were searching for a 17-year-old Maplewood girl who was suspected of working at the La Quinta Inn, 7815 Nicollet Ave., according to Clauson.

Bloomington investigators, along with a St. Paul investigator, went to investigate the report during the afternoon of Feb. 10. They observed a female matching the Maplewood girl’s description exiting the hotel and getting into a vehicle in the parking lot. The officers approached the vehicle to speak with the girl inside, as well as a man and woman seated in the vehicle, Clauson said.

The Albertville man was asked to step out of the vehicle, and while he was being questioned, the girl in the back seat fled the vehicle and ran southbound along Nicollet Avenue. As officers pursued her, a Bloomington investigator remained at the scene with the Albertville man, who was uncooperative and turned combative, punching the officer in the head before fleeing the area on foot, Clauson explained.

Neither the man nor the girl made it very far before being apprehended by police officers. The girl, who turned out to be the girl Minneapolis police officers were seeking, was caught in the parking lot of the McDonald’s south of La Quinta. The Albertville man fled east and was arrested outside the nearby Super 8 motel, Clauson said.

The girl was cited for fleeing a police officer while the man was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault, fleeing a police officer, giving a false name to a police officer and profiting from prostitution.

A 32-year-old St. Paul woman remained in the vehicle during the incident was also arrested on suspicion of profiting from prostitution.

The suspects were booked in Bloomington, but the case will be prosecuted through the Minneapolis Police Department, Clauson noted.

Stolen vehicle

A 42-year-old Minneapolis man and a 29-year-old St. Paul woman were arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle after an early morning jaunt through Bloomington.

An employee of AmericInn Hotel and Suites, 1200 E. 78th St., Richfield, reported that a duo had attempted to check into the hotel about 4:30 a.m. Feb. 22. Both the man and woman were stumbling, and the employee declined to offer them a room. The employee watched as they drove off in a vehicle, nearly hitting a parked truck. The employee reported the incident to the police, noting that they were heading toward Interstate 494 at 12th Avenue, Clauson explained.

A Bloomington officer following up the incident report drove through the parking lot of Northwood Inn and Suites, 1225 E. 78th St., Bloomington, which is across the freeway from AmericInn. Inside the hotel lobby, the officer observed a man and woman who appeared to be intoxicated. The officer made contact with the duo after they exited the lobby. They denied they had been driving as they made their way to a room, Clauson said.

A check of vehicles in the parking lot turned up a vehicle with a stolen license plate. The plate was registered to a Nissan, but was displayed on a Chevrolet. A check of the vehicle’s identification number identified it as stolen out of Minneapolis. The vehicle matched the description given by the AmericInn employee, according to Clauson.

An officer maintained surveillance of the vehicle, and at approximately 5:40 a.m. the duo was spotted outside of the hotel and arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. A search of the man turned up a key to the vehicle in his pocket, Clauson noted.

Phony phone

A 31-year-old Superior, Wisconsin, woman’s claim a 29-year-old Bloomington man stole cash from her resulted in his arrest on suspicion of second-degree assault and theft.

The woman said she purchased two iPhones from the suspect during the afternoon of Feb. 17 for $1,200. The purchase was negotiated through an online ad, and while the woman was returning to Wisconsin, she received a call from the suspect, offering a deal on additional phones. She returned to meet him that evening and gave him $2,000 for additional phones. The boxes she received turned out to be empty, and she attempted to get her money back by following the man in his vehicle. She reported that he attempted to run her off the road while she was following him, Clauson explained.

The woman called the police to report the incident and provide a license plate number for his vehicle. It was registered to a Bloomington apartment, and an officer checking the address found the suspect returning to the apartment building.

He was questioned about the transaction and acknowledged he had sold phones to the woman, claiming that his transactions were legal. His vehicle had damage and appeared to have paint matching the woman’s vehicle, resulting in his arrest, Clauson said.