Suspect’s appetite helped point Bloomington cops to his door

A 32-year-old Eagan man with an apparent appetite for burritos, ice cream and pizza was arrested on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud and theft hours after a wallet was reported stolen from a Bloomington fitness center.

The suspect was arrested shortly after midnight, April 20, by the Eagan Police Department. He was identified by his license plate, which was recorded by a security camera at one of several Bloomington businesses he appeared to visit shortly after the reported theft, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.

The credit cards were stolen from a locker at Planet Fitness, 10606 France Ave., during the afternoon of April 19. The victim said he arrived at 4 p.m., secured his property in a locker and discovered his wallet was missing at approximately 5 p.m., Clauson said. The victim was certain his padlock was locked, but there was no sign of forced entry into the locker, she noted.

By 7 p.m. the victim was informed that his credit card had been used to make several suspicious purchases, including $100 gift card purchases at the nearby Chipotle, Pizza Hut and Great Clips, according to Clauson. Evidence also showed that the victim’s credit card was used to make purchases from the nearby Dairy Queen Grill & Chill and east of the area shopping centers at Gas For Less, 2625 W. Old Shakopee Road, according to Clauson.

Officers investigating the incident checked with area businesses in an attempt to identify the perpetrator of the credit card purchases. Surveillance video from Bloomington Smoke Shop, 3701 W. Old Shakopee Road, helped identify the suspect. At least two businesses provided a basic description of the perpetrator. Although there was no evidence that he made a purchase at Bloomington Smoke Shop, its surveillance video of the parking lot showed a man matching the perpetrator’s description driving away in a vehicle. The video captured the vehicle’s license plate, which showed it was registered to the Eagan man, Clauson explained.

Eagan police officers located the suspect at his residence, and he was wearing the same clothing as seen in the surveillance video. A check of his vehicle turned up two gift cards matching those reportedly purchased with the stolen credit cards, Clauson said.

Following his arrest, the suspect said he had given away some of the gift cards purchased with the credit card, and said he threw the wallet in a garbage can near the restaurants where he purchased the gift cards. Police officers were able to locate the wallet based upon the suspect’s information, Clauson noted.

Bigger problems

A 49-year-old man with no permanent address was arrested on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud and an outstanding felony theft warrant after his attempt to replace a damaged cellphone at a Mall of America business.

Police officers were called to the Mall of America Apple Store during the evening of April 21. The suspect was attempting to exchange a damaged cellphone, and a store employee realized that the man had tried to make the exchange earlier that day at an Apple Store in Roseville, according to notes on the man’s account. A manager contacted the Roseville store and learned that he was suspected of stealing an iPhone after his attempt to exchange the damaged phone was denied, according to Clauson.

Police officers were called to the store, and an officer asked the suspect for his identification. The man claimed he didn’t have identification with him, but had a credit card in his possession. The officer noticed the man had a paper Minnesota license application, as well, and asked to see the application. The name on the application did not match the name on the credit card, Clauson said.

The man said that the credit card belonged to an associate, but after confirmation of his identity he was arrested because of his outstanding warrant. A search of his possessions turned up four credit cards in four different names, a tax statement issued to a female and a checkbook in a different name, Clauson noted.

He was booked on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud because he was in possession of multiple credit cards that weren’t in his name, Clauson explained. There was no evidence he was in possession of a stolen iPhone from the Roseville store, she noted.

Narcotics arrests

Three people were arrested on suspicion of narcotics possession after a duo was reported sleeping in a parked vehicle outside a Bloomington hotel.

Police officers were dispatched to TownePlace Suites, 2500 Lindau Lane, shortly after midnight April 25. The hotel reported that two people were sleeping in a vehicle in the hotel’s parking lot, Clauson said.

Officers responding to the call found a duo sleeping in a parked car. The 25-year-old Shakopee man in the driver’s seat and the 21-year-old Hopkins woman in the passenger’s seat said they were waiting for a friend to arrive. The man was asked for identification and produced a driver’s license that was determined not to be his, according to Clauson.

The duo gave the name of their friend, saying that he was a registered guest at the hotel. A check with the hotel showed no evidence that was the case, Clauson explained.

While being questioned, an officer noticed a hypodermic needle inside their vehicle, as well as a taped container and a container that appeared to have soiled cotton balls, which appeared to be narcotics paraphernalia. Although the duo denied possessing narcotics, the taped container was found to have a white chunky substance inside, prompting officers to arrest the duo for possession of narcotics, according to Clauson.

The Shakopee man was also determined to have three outstanding Dakota County warrants upon confirmation of his identity, resulting in his being booked for giving false information to a police officer, Clauson noted.

A search of their vehicle following their arrests turned up additional narcotics and needles, as well as naloxone, which is used for treating narcotics overdoses, Clauson said.

The third arrest at the hotel resulted from the arrival of a 42-year-old St. Paul man while officers were at the scene. The man identified himself as the woman’s boyfriend and said he was going to rent a room for the duo. A narcotics K-9 was at the scene when the man arrived, and the dog indicated that there were narcotics in the man’s rental vehicle. The man said that he had methamphetamine in his vehicle, which officers recovered, resulting in his arrest. Suspected heroin and needles were also found in his vehicle, Clauson said.

The man was eventually booked on suspicion of narcotics possession, but was initially transported to Fairview Southdale for evaluation, as he said he swallowed methamphetamine and was ill, Clauson noted.

Double jeopardy

A 27-year-old man was arrested twice in a 24-hour period as a result of incidents with a 24-year-old man.

Police officers were dispatched to an apartment complex on the 10600 block of Brunswick Road shortly before 9 p.m. April 24. The 24-year-old man called to report that he was assaulted by his ex-fiance, the 27-year-old man, inside the apartment the duo still shared. Officers responding to the report found the victim in the parking lot, who said the suspect had grabbed him, thrown him against the wall and then onto the ground. Officers noted the victim had marks on his head and neck, Clauson said.

The suspect was inside the apartment, and when questioned by police officers, he said he did not know what they were talking about. The officers had probable cause to arrest him, however, and he was booked on suspicion of fifth-degree assault, according to Clauson.

About 24 hours later, police officers were dispatched to the same address. As a term of the suspect’s release, he was issued a no-contact order regarding the victim. The victim reported that he returned to the Bloomington apartment at 7:45 p.m. April 25 and the suspect was there. The suspect left the scene prior to officers arriving, but a patrol officer spotted a vehicle matching that of the suspect not far from the apartment complex, resulting in the suspect’s second arrest, Clauson explained.