Whoever those guys are, they’re not from the alarm company

Car vs. building - Significant structural damage to the corner shop at Bernard and Robert streets was still obvious on April 29 after a suspected drunk driver ran into Kent Optical in West St. Paul. A man crashed his vehicle into the business late April 24, and fled from the scene, according to police. The driver was later arrested for second-degree DWI, among other charges. (Linda E. Andersen/Review)

South-West Review police reports May 4, 2014

Inver Grove Heights

—  It’s long been advised that mailbox flags tend to be more of a signal to thieves that there are outgoing checks to pick up than to a mail carrier. A 47-year-old man reported his mail had been stolen the afternoon of April 17. He put a check in the mailbox, and flipped up the flag Tuesday. The check was gone, but the flag was still up early Wednesday. He stopped the payment on the check and closed the associated bank account. 

—  It’s also long been advised to not leave your car unlocked and unattended with hundreds of dollars of valuables and cash in it. Yet, another cautionary tale: A man parked his car to visit a friend in town. He left it unlocked. An hour later he found his car was, well, not exactly “broken into” but entered, and his $500 phone, $650 golf clubs and $300 cash were gone. On the bright side, the car wasn’t damaged. He reported the theft just before 10 p.m. April 11.
—  This guy must’ve really needed to change a tire. A 22-year-old St. Paul man approached an officer in his squad car, asking to borrow a car jack late April 14.  Unfortunately for the man (but fortunately for the officer) the officer recognized him and knew he had a warrant out for his arrest. The cop verified his identity and arrested him for a misdemeanor.
—  A man happened upon a flaming item on a warming house at Skyview Park late April 13. He had heard someone yell, saw two juveniles running away from the warming house and then he ran towards the small fire and put it out with a jacket. The responding officer saw small burn marks on a window grate; it looked like a piece of cloth was jammed in it and set on fire.
—  That’s probably not the result she had in mind. A 59-year-old woman called the police because a child in the upstairs apartment was jumping up and down, disturbing her peace. Police responded to the home in question. The child’s mother answered the door. The 5-year-old boy was wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume. The father said he was just running around the apartment (probably fighting crime), and that this was an ongoing problem with their neighbor. Police then spoke to the reporting woman’s caretaker, a man who happened to have two Hennepin County arrest warrants. He was arrested.

West St. Paul

—  A woman reported her car’s window had been smashed 12:39 p.m. April 23 at the Thompson Activity Center. She wasn’t sure if anything was taken out of the car, because she needed to go home and verify if her purse was in the car or the house.

—  Four tires with rims were reported stolen 7:01 p.m. April 23.

—  A 1999 Ford Mustang was reported stolen at 2:43 p.m. April 24. There were no keys in the vehicle.

—  A vehicle and an apartment may have been broken into, but the only thing reported missing was a pair of men’s trousers. The man who reported a burglary April 24 said he heard a car alarm go off after taking his pants off and going to bed. He deactivated the alarm from his apartment. Nothing was stolen, and there was no damage. However, he came home from a doctor’s appointment one day and found all his doors were locked, but it looked like the tackle box in the closet was moved. Nothing was missing. He received a notice of thefts in the area on his door, and so was reporting it.

—  A woman reported that someone called her, said he was from the police department and was with “national security.” He said he was going to come and arrest her 85-year-old husband unless she sent money right away. It became clear it was a scam. Police advised her to ignore the calls.
—  A fight was reported 1:13 a.m. April 27 at a local bar. A large group was in the middle of the street, screaming and fighting. The group soon dispersed; people ran away or drove away in their vehicles. Police assisted with clearing out the bar.
Animal call
—  Keep an eye out for West St. Paul’s doggy Don Juan. A woman reported a black Labrador was running loose and kept coming into her yard around 8 p.m. April 28. She said it “had relations” with her dog, and that she was very upset and wanted to report her dog is a “virgin and now will probably have puppies.” She also reported the female dog was in heat. Police spoke to those at the Lab’s home, and no one knew if he was neutered, but they did say he wasn’t friendly (to humans). Police told them to keep the dog contained.
—  Give me those contacts ... or else! An optical store employee recently was threatened by a customer over the phone. The customer threatened to come to the store and “f--- her up” and threatened that people will be out there waiting for her. Apparently the customer was seeing red because her choice contacts were not in stock. Police advised optical store personnel that the calls were most likely empty threats, but contacted the customer -- who denied the threats and still seemed to believe the employee was holding out on her -- to tell her not to be spotted on store premises. 

South St. Paul

Suspicious person
—  This is a creepy one, folks. Two men claiming to be from an alarm company tried to convince an elderly woman to allow them into her home April 29, so they could inspect and update her alarm system. She told the men, one of whom wore a Vivint hat and claimed to be from an office location that doesn’t exist on Pitt Street, that she wasn’t notified of the service and didn’t request it. She said she’d call the police, and the men abandoned their pitch fast and fled in a gray sedan. The two men were described as white and about 5-foot-10. The company verified that they don’t have an office at that location, and that they don’t send employees out for such “checkups.” Police noted that the same woman reported a similar incident two months ago, where a man claiming to be from Honeywell tried to gain entry into her home to change a battery on her alarm system. The company told police they don’t do such 5-year battery replacements.

—  A 68-year-old man received a phone call from a younger male, who said the man’s 22-year-old grandson was under arrest at a U.S. consulate in Mexico City. The caller, who knew the the grandson’s name, told the man to wire over $1,000 for his release. The man ended the conversation, didn’t send money and called around to confirm his grandson was indeed at home in the U.S. The caller tried again a couple of hours later, the man said he wouldn’t send money, and so the caller hung up.

—  You can run, but you probably shouldn’t make it so easy for cops to find you later. A woman called police because a man crashed his car into signs at the center median April 29, and fled the scene of the crash. She spoke to the 27-year-old male who’d been at the wheel and noticed he seemed “shaken and under the influence of something.” Police found the car with heavy front-end damage, several empty beer cans inside and the man’s wallet, with his driver’s license in it, in the center console. The vehicle was towed. Police spoke to the man’s mother and friend, but they claimed they hadn’t seen him. So, they mailed a citation to the man for not providing accident information.

— A  46-year-old woman was arrested April 28. Officers saw her driving, thought she was someone with a revoked license (she indeed was), and so arrested her, considering her driving history and failures to appear. She also had no proof of insurance. Officers noted the car contained many personal items, as if someone was living out of the vehicle.

—  A 32-year-old South St. Paul man was arrested for driving after his license was revoked. The man pleaded with the officer to let him go, because he had to drive to work in order to make money to pay his fines. Since 2012, he had already posted 20 failures to appear in court plus a list of unpaid fines, so this time he was arrested and booked so authorities could help him meet his scheduled appearance.

Found property
—  Anyone lose a tiny purse? A young child gave a police reserve officer a child’s purse found at Kaposia Park during a recent egg hunt April 19. It was small and green, and had $4 in it.


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