One bad boyfriend, two police departments and plenty of disgruntled people

Also, who steals SPAM?

South-West Review police reports Oct. 13, 2013

West St. Paul

— A shoplifter at Wal-Mart apparently let his camouflage hat dictate his behavior Oct. 7 when he pantomimed a shooting gesture with an empty hand at a pursuing store employee. No weapons were observed, but the employee opted to hand the matter over to police. Officers apprehended the shoplifter and his accomplice as they were driving away, but didn’t charge them since the $2 scarf the tough guys had stolen was recovered by employees on store grounds.
— If you’re too disorganized to cut it as a shoplifter, it may be time to reassess a few things: a woman who swiped a bottle of perfume from Kmart Oct. 8 probably ended up with a net loss on the day after when she forgot her cell phone in the store bathroom. She went on to set a new record for shoplifting ineptitude when she made it to her minivan and discovered it was out of gas. What she lacked in foresight she made up for in determination, however: she started by grabbing a gas can out of the vehicle and marching to a nearby station, but after some unpleasant exchanges with loss prevention staff she eventually resorted to escaping by cab. Incredibly, the woman managed to make a clean getaway because the only officer in the immediate area was already occupied arresting another shoplifter at the store. It seems unlikely her luck will hold out through any attempt to recover her phone and vehicle.
— And you thought your last cab ride was expensive: a man called police from the 100 block of Thompson Ave. Oct. 4 to claim he’d been robbed by his cabbie. The man said was taking the taxi home from a bar when the cabbie took his phone and wallet and kicked him to the curb at Concord and Robert Streets. An officer advised the man to file a report with the cab company.

Warrant arrest
— Police were called to Culvers Oct. 8 after a juvenile paid for a meal with a counterfeit $10 bill. She insisted she received the bill as change from a restaurant in Inver Grove Heights the day before and was unaware of its fraudulent nature; whether or not that was true, it was not enough to get her off the hook for an outstanding Ramsey County warrant. The juvenile was taken into custody and handed off to St. Paul police.

Suspicious activity
— How strong are those drinks? A bartender called police from the 1200 block of Robert St. as he was closing up shop to report a patron had left a brand new cell phone as a tip. The bartender decided to report the bizarre act of generosity in case the phone was stolen. An officer placed the phone in police property until they can determine who the rightful owner is.
— A resident called police to the 1600 block of Marthaler Lane Oct. 3 to deal with a man he suspected of stealing his laptop the week before. Although the suspect didn’t have the laptop on him, he did have active warrants from Hennepin and Chisago Counties. He was arrested and transported to Dakota County Jail.

Inver Grove Heights

— There’s such a thing as being too drunk to help, and then there’s being so drunk nobody wants to help: an officer pulled over a vehicle Sept. 27, and, after noting one of the passengers was ridiculously intoxicated, instructed the others to get their buddy home to bed. A short time later, however, the officer spotted the drunken passenger standing outside a gas station on the 3200 block of 57th St. The man told the officer his friends had kicked him out of the vehicle, so with his newfound free time he was buying lottery tickets. When the officer kept asking questions, however, the man instructed him to leave him alone as he was figuring out how to get home to Duluth. After measuring the man at a .24 blood alcohol content, the officer decided he’d better spend the night in detox and make his way home the next day.

Possession of stolen property
— Ever have those days where you feel like everybody is out to get you? This guy actually earned that feeling: South St. Paul police contacted Inver Grove Heights police for assistance with a man who stole his ex-girlfriend’s TV and pawned it in Inver Grove Heights. Police got in touch with the pawn store and found the man had received $100 for the TV July 5. While he left a fake number at the store, police issued a summons to his address of record just to let him know his ex wants her TV, the police may press charges and the pawn shop is looking to get its $100 back.

Disorderly conduct
— Which came first: the drama or the eggs? Police responded to a home on the 7600 block of Barbara Court Sept. 26 after a report of an egging incident. The victim, a teenage girl, told police she’d recognized the vehicle of an acquaintance sitting in the cul-de-sac and watched as the acquaintance and another girl got out and started throwing eggs (most of which landed in the driveway without actually hitting the home). The victim identified her antagonists and told police she suspected the attack was born of “some drama at school” in which she’d declined an invitation from one of the girls. Police then went to the homes of both of the alleged eggers, who admitted their involvement but insisted their antics were a preemptory strike since the victim had threatened to egg them earlier. Officers let the girls off with a disorderly conduct warning and promises of forthcoming discipline from their respective mothers.

South St. Paul

Warrant arrest
— If only it were always this easy: an officer patrolling near the 1600 block of Bryant Ave. pulled over a vehicle Oct. 7 after he recognized the owner and found he had two active warrants. The suspect was compliant with the officer’s instructions, but before being taken into custody he met with a nearby homeowner and arranged to leave his pickup in the driveway until he could have someone retrieve it. With that, the officer and the suspect headed off to Dakota County Jail.

 — A man called police Oct. 5 to report a threatening statement from his newly ex-girlfriend. The man said as he was moving out of the apartment they shared, his ex stepped into the hall and told him, “You’ll be sorry for this.” The man admitted he had no idea what she meant by that, but he figured he should have it documented by police just in case.

— If you’re determined to try shoplifting, at least shoot for something worthwhile: police were called to a grocery store on the 200 block of 13th Ave. Oct. 6 to handle a shoplifter who’d been detained by staff. The store manager told the responding officer that the woman had stolen from the store often, but this was the first time she’d been caught in the act. He explained the woman had paid for several items, but left the store with an extra can of SPAM in her purse. (She counters that she only set the can on top of her purse while shopping and it fell inside without her knowledge). Officers also found a bag of coffee at her purse, but no one could determine if it was stolen or if she was just carrying it home from work as she claimed. The woman agreed to surrender the SPAM and, upon the manager’s request, was cited for theft and trespassed from the store.

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