South St. Paul adults who were probably terrible at hide-and-seek arrested

Plus: Couch fire in Inver Grove Heights; animals reported cute in West St. Paul

South-West Review police reports Apr. 27, 2014

South St. Paul

— You can drive, but you can’t hide. During routine patrolling April 18 around 3 p.m., an officer saw a 26-year-old South St. Paul woman driving a car with a smashed windshield. The officer recognized the car, the license plate and the woman, who in an earlier traffic incident admitted she didn’t have a driver’s license. While confirming her identity, the officer found she indeed didn’t have a license, failed to appear in court and hadn’t paid some fines. She was arrested for driving after license revocation to prevent any further traffic violations, and to make sure a judge saw her — finally.

— The seekers outdo the hiders again. On April 21 at 1 a.m, an officer saw two men exit a vehicle and enter a home, and recognized one of them as a 29-year-old South St. Paul man with an outstanding warrant. The officer called the man’s girlfriend’s mother, telling her they believed the man was in the residence. She cooperated, allowing officers to search the home. The man was arrested and taken to jail for drug-related felony charges.

— Clown car of criminals? An officer pulled over a car that was loud, as if it didn’t have a muffler, and had an unsecured trunk lid on April 20 at 5:36 p.m. Because the back of the car was so full of stuff, the woman in the backseat couldn’t buckle her seat belt. A Shoreview woman was arrested due to an outstanding warrant, and a South St. Paul woman was arrested for a probation violation warrant. The driver, an Inver Grove Heights man, was ticketed for not having car insurance. The vehicle was towed. A pipe used for smoking marijuana and a baggie full of the leafy drug was found in the car, but it couldn’t be linked to a user.

— Seriously, you might as well just turn yourself in. During a routine traffic stop April 17, a 36-year-old South St. Paul man was arrested due to outstanding warrants for charges related to possession of burglary tools, drugs and assault. His friend, the driver, just received a warning ticket for a broken taillight.

— A Pontiac Grand Prix 2004 was reported stolen April 14 at 10:20 a.m. at a South St. Paul hotel. The car, valued at $8,000, was registered to an Inver Grove Heights address. None of the doors were locked. The 45-year-old man who owned the car said a female he’s known for two months (he didn’t know her last name and said they were only friends) borrowed it, but hadn’t given it back. It was later found in Wisconsin by the Fox Valley Metro Police Department being driven by the woman.

— New car unlocked, with keys in the ignition AND it’s all warm and cozy? Sounds like a car thief’s dream. A 33-year-old South St. Paul man turned on his car at about 4:30 a.m. April 18, leaving it running to warm it up. Within half an hour, he was reporting the 2013 sedan stolen. The car, valued at $25,000, was parked in front of his home, unlocked.

— A misunderstanding of the law led to a $2,000 mistake. A South St. Paul man on April 11 reported he received a voicemail from a man claiming to be a police officer working with the IRS. He called him back, and the caller said the man owed $5,486 because he failed to claim on his taxes money he sent overseas. If he didn’t pay, the “officer” said the man could be arrested. Because he indeed sent money to his family, and thought he could get in trouble, the man withdrew all of the money he had, $2,000, put the cash on Green Dot MoneyPack cards, which are often used in scams, and then gave the information to the caller. The man’s sister told him it was a scam. The victim reported the incident, even though he knew he wouldn’t be getting his money back. The South St. Paul Police Department advised him to use any remaining money on the cards, if possible.

Property damage
— You’ll shoot your eye out! Or maybe just a window. Early April 17, a South St. Paul man found a window on his car smashed. Police said it appeared to be hit once, where the impact was consistent with a BB or a pellet. There are no suspects, but anyone named Ralphie should probably be at the top of the list.
West St. Paul

Traffic stops
— Look, mom, no hands! A man was spotted “driving” near Interstate 35E and Lone Oak Road on April 16 around 1:30 p.m. He had an apple in one hand, and was texting with the other. Unsurprisingly, he was ticketed.

— Honest; I already smoked it all, officer. An officer responded to a report of a strong odor of marijuana in an apartment complex hallway. The resident who was suspected of smoking the drug admitted to police that he had smoked previously, but had already run out of his stash. The officer told him he “appreciated his honesty.” The officer noted the smell was only faint in that man’s apartment, and it was difficult to pinpoint where the stronger odor was coming from.

— Apparently taking in stray “crackheads” isn’t as endearing as taking in stray dogs.  A man reported April 16 that his girlfriend kept bringing home homeless individuals, who were causing problems for the couple. He said a homeless woman was hanging out and using drugs with someone she has a restraining order against. Although they were out at the moment, the man hoped police would help get rid of them for good, because he was sick of the “crackhead” homeless people living in the garage. He was advised to call back when the homeless male and female returned.

—Crappy house with a crap-ton of cats. At about 3:10 p.m. April 16, police helped building code enforcers with checking on a possible uninhabitable house. There, officers helped a humane society capture seven cats in the attic living area.

— No, not that Kevin Gates. Someone reported seeing a man talking to himself, circling the area, and appeared to be under the influence of something. The man told officers he was getting ready to record a rap song, practicing outside. He said his alias was “Kevin Gates.” Looking it up online, the officer found that there’s a very popular rapper by that name, but it wasn’t the same guy.

911 hangup
— A dispatcher recently received a call, but no one was on the line. The dispatcher tried calling back, a child answered, but continued to push buttons. When asked to get a parent, the child hung up. The dispatcher tried calling once more; the child answered again, but refused to get a parent. Talking with the child was “fruitless.”

— Police were summoned to a West St. Paul home, where a 14-year-old boy was holding a shotgun and threatening a young female around 11:05 p.m. April 17. The boy reportedly threatened the girl online first, and then she came over to talk to him. He then started threatening her with a gun, which was apparently a shotgun used for hunting. The boy was told to put the gun down, and taken into custody.

— Reported April 18 at 11:15 a.m., a vehicle was broken into along the 1100 block of Smith Avenue South.

— Reported April 18 at 4:38 p.m. at the police station, a woman reported her purse was taken from a grocery store parking lot, and now there was fraudulent activity on her credit card.

— The headset bandits are at it again. Two male suspects reportedly stole two headsets, worth $600, from a cell-phone provider store on April 18. They were spotted at two other locations, and had a specific key to unlock the merchandise.

Animal calls
— Yeah, about that escape plan, I’m good here. At 6:25 p.m. April 18, the owner of a pug reported the pet was “at large.” The owner later found the dog in the backyard. Apparently, the pug was “too lazy to run away.”

— It’s hard to tell what’s cuter: the name of the pet or its reaction to being saved. A dog was wrapped in some cords April 21 at 2:12 p.m. The neighbor reported the incident, and an officer helped free the animal from the cable lines. The pup was reportedly “very excited to be free.” The dog’s name? Bubbles. 

—Animal-lover saves orphaned squirrel. A resident found a baby squirrel whose mom was dead, and then called police April 21 at 3:18 p.m. to see if the police could help. The caller apparently found a place to take the squirrel in Roseville.

Lost property
— A diamond is forever, unless you lose it. A woman learned that hard lesson when she misplaced her $12,000 engagement ring while out with some friends. She told police the morning of April 20 that she remembers taking off the ring, which had a white-gold band, a 1.5 carat diamond at the center and 52 smaller diamonds around it, to put on lotion the night before, and then putting it back on her finger. She was advised that if the department receives any found property, she would be notified.

Inver Grove Heights

— From pub-hopping to punch-hopping. An officer was summoned to a local pub on April 5 at 10:30 p.m., and separated a fight, securing the “chaotic scene.” An Inver Grove Heights man and a South St. Paul man apparently picked a fight with the cab driver, whose face was swollen and cut. The taxi driver had picked them up from a West St. Paul bar. The passengers and the driver reportedly started throwing words in the cab. Once they arrived at the pub, they started throwing punches. A large group of people congregated around the fight, and at least one man tried to break it up, even taking a punch while trying to defend the driver. An Inver Grove Heights man said he was getting into it with another cab driver that “spilled over into the interaction” with the driver in the fight. The passengers claimed the driver initiated the quarrel, but several witnesses told police the two men started it. The passengers were both arrested for fifth-degree assault (a misdemeanor) and disorderly conduct.

— A surefire way to get rid of a stain. An officer responded to a report of smoke billowing from a fire atop a hill near an apartment complex on the 8200 block of College Trail on April 10 around 7 p.m. The officer saw a smoldering couch and surrounding brush on fire. He emptied his fire extinguisher trying to snuff out the flames, but it continued to burn. The fire department responded, and personnel put it out. No suspects noted.

— Don’t worry, officer; I’m just doing my thing. A 26-year-old South St. Paul man was charged with driving with a revoked license after his car struck another car at Highway 52 and Upper 55th Street. Taking the exit, the man reportedly cut off a South St. Paul woman while they were both turning right in separate lanes. The left front of her car hit the right rear of his vehicle. The man kept driving. She called the police, and followed him to a restaurant parking lot. When questioned, the man insisted he stopped. The officer asked if he didn’t stop because his license was revoked. “Well,” he responded. When asked why didn’t he stop before the parking lot a half-mile from the collision, he replied, “She’s a b----.” The officer reminded the man that if he were following the rules of the revocation and was not driving, the accident wouldn’t have happened. The man reportedly then shrugged, and said, “I gotta do what I gotta do.”


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