Hunger helped owner recover iPad stolen in MOA parking lot

A 26-year-old Brooklyn Park man was fortunate to be reunited with his iPad after the suspected thief was arrested for attempting to shoplift food.

The iPad was reported stolen at approximately 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20. The victim parked his vehicle outside Mall of America’s L.L. Bean store at 3 p.m. and left a backpack in the unlocked vehicle. The backpack contained his iPad and other possessions, and was missing when he returned to the vehicle, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.

It didn’t take long for the iPad to turn up, as a 22-year-old Eagan man and a 17-year-old Minneapolis boy were arrested for possession of stolen property at the Bloomington Walmart store.

The duo was spotted by store security personnel putting food into a backpack inside the store and attempting to leave without paying for it. The duo was stopped by officers responding to the report and arrested. Besides food from Walmart, officers found an iPad inside the backpack, which matched the description of the backpack reported stolen minutes earlier, Clauson noted.

Police officers were able to contact the victim, who drove over to Walmart to identify his backpack and iPad. He was able to unlock the iPad with a security code, verifying it was his, Clauson added.

The Minneapolis boy told police officers that he had been fired from his job at a Mall of America restaurant earlier in the day and was walking through the parking lot when he saw the backpack sitting in an unlocked vehicle. The Eagan man was not with him at the time, but met up with him prior to the duo entering Walmart, Clauson said.

Celebrity friend?

A 47-year-old Edina man was arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, declining to answer questions about the time he spent at a Bloomington hotel with a woman who claimed she exchanges text messages with actor Vin Diesel.

The suspect was arrested at Embassy Suites, 7901 34th Ave., during the morning of Aug. 23. He had reportedly met a 54-year-old woman in the hotel bar during the previous evening and parted ways. The duo ran into each other again around 2 a.m., Clauson said.

The woman said that she had been feeling ill and went to the hotel lobby seeking medicine. She encountered the suspect in the lobby as he was entering the building, and he offered to escort her back to her room. She accepted, and upon arrival the duo decided to watch a movie, Clauson explained.

The woman claimed that the suspect undressed, forced her to have sex with him, took money from her pants pocket, although she didn’t see him do so, and then cuddled with her, seemingly in an effort to prevent her from leaving the room, according to Clauson.

The woman reported that the suspect left her room and returned to his room at 5:20 a.m., at which time she went to the hotel lobby and spoke with an employee, who called the police, Clauson noted.

Officers responding to the incident took a statement from the woman, who provided the suspect’s room number. The officers went to question the suspect, who refused to answer questions about his involvement with the woman without an attorney present. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct as a result, Clauson explained.

During a follow-up interview by detectives, the woman claimed that she had access to her phone while she was with the suspect in her hotel room. She did not make an effort to call 911, but said she was exchanging text messages with Diesel, a 50-year-old actor known for his role in the “Fast and the Furious” movie franchise. The woman also claimed she is related to singer Celine Dion and is often mistaken for a member of the Kardashian family, Clauson said.

Assault arrest

A 35-year-old man, accused of punching his girlfriend in their Bloomington home, was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Police officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Mission Road West at approximately 10:30 p.m. Aug. 19 in response to a medical call. Upon arrival, officers were told by the victim’s son that his mother was inside the house and was bleeding. The 36-year-old woman told police officers that her boyfriend, who was sitting on the steps outside the house, had punched her, according to Clauson.

The woman had a cut above her eye and was taken to Southdale Hospital for treatment while her boyfriend was arrested. Inside the house there appeared to be signs of a struggle, as there was broken glass on the floor and a hole in the sheetrock, Clauson said.

During the follow-up investigation the following day, the suspect and victim said that they had been drinking and that the woman was upset because her children, who had been visiting her from out of state, were leaving the following day. She wanted to continue drinking, but the suspect told her to go to bed. The suspect claimed that the woman ran at him, and that he pushed her away, causing her to trip over a laundry basket. The woman also told the police that she fell over a laundry basket, withdrawing her claim that she had been punched, Clauson explained.

DWI arrest

A 22-year-old Bloomington woman was having a hard time navigating her vehicle along Old Shakopee Road, but that didn’t deter her from trying.

She wound up arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree driving while impaired, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and driving without a license.

The police department received a report of a vehicle with a flat front tire traveling westbound on Old Shakopee Road. The vehicle had reportedly struck the curb and a sign at the intersection of Penn Avenue, Clauson said.

An officer responding to the report located the vehicle stopped at the stoplight for Old Shakopee Road and Xerxes Avenue. The vehicle was headed westbound on Old Shakopee Road, but was stopped in the eastbound lanes. The woman was missing the front tire on the driver’s side of her vehicle, but that didn’t deter her from driving off. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop as the woman began swerving down the road, but the woman refused to pull over, according to Clauson.

The officer used a PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle. Traveling at approximately 35 mph, the woman lost control of her vehicle, jumped a median and came to a stop at the France Avenue intersection. She didn’t immediately exit the vehicle after being ordered to do so, but eventually complied and was arrested without incident, Clauson said.


Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.