Ducklings in West St. Paul sewer: ‘Dumb but alive’

Plus, riot over gas outage, flooding, mudslide

South-West Review police reports June 8, 2014

West St. Paul

Civil assistance

— Although this woman probably meant it rhetorically when she asked what this cop was being paid for, the officer had answered her question before she even asked it. The afternoon of May 28, a woman wanted an officer to assist her, because her neighbors had mowed their lawn and the grass clippings blew onto her driveway. The officer told her it was a civil issue on a private drive. The woman wasn’t happy with the officer’s answer, and asked the officer what he or she was being paid for. She insisted it was trespassing for the clippings to blow onto her driveway. The officer advised her that no, it was not trespassing, and that she would have to work it out with her neighbor.

—A wall collapsed at an apartment June 1 around 10:51 a.m. No one was injured, but the property owner was wondering if it was safe or not. It was determined that the house was unsafe, as a whole side literally fell off of it and the foundation was going on the north side of the house. An evacuation of the residents renting the property was ordered.

Fire call

— A gas line was hit by a construction crew May 28 close to 3 p.m. It was a one-inch line. Xcel Energy was notified and responded in about 20 minutes. A squad was needed to block traffic near the site.

Suspicious persons

— A man with no shirt, but wearing a fuzzy purple hat was reported suspicious (imagine that), because he had apparently been talking to someone’s daughter and tried to walk home with the parent and the daughter May 28 at 3:30 p.m. An officer spoke to the man. He told police he was just waving at the kids as they left school. The officer told him it looks suspicious when a man his age is by himself and waving at kids. The officer advised him not to wave at little kids anymore.

— A female reported May 29 at 5:54 p.m. that someone tried to get into her vehicle two nights ago with some type of tool, and left it on the door handle along the 1500 block of Bellows Street. She was concerned, because there has been a theft in her underground garage before.

—Responding to another call May 30 near 3 a.m., an officer noticed an apartment door had been forced open. The apartment was unoccupied, as the tenant had passed away a few weeks ago. The door was standing open, and so the officer checked the apartment and re-secured the door.


— A stereo was stolen out of a vehicle on the 1800 block of Robert Street South May 28 around 5 p.m.

—A license plate was taken from a Chevrolet TrailBlazer at about 3 p.m. May 28 on the 1800 block of Oakdale Avenue.

—A resident May 28 at 6:31 p.m. reported sunglasses and spare change had been stolen out of a vehicle sometime overnight along the 1000 block of Allen Avenue.  

—At the West St. Paul sports complex, a vehicle window was recently smashed in, and things were stolen out of it.

—Another theft from a vehicle occurred May 31 at 2:34 p.m. along the 1200 block of Stassen Lane. The woman believed her car was broken into, although nothing of value was taken from it, just a few CDs were taken, along with a bag.

— The nanny did it! On June 3 at 6:33 p.m., a woman reported that a person who provided childcare for her family last summer — and who she had fired — was posting items from her home on an online garage sale page on Facebook, and other people were trying to purchase the stolen items. The items had been missing from her home.

Animal calls

— A resident reported there was a dog tearing bags of garbage open and eating it May 31 at 8 p.m. The responding officer saw an overflowing dumpster and “no doggy.” City code enforcement staff was advised on the trash ordinance violation.

— And the winner of cutest police report of 2014 goes to ... mama and baby ducks fall in sewer! A mother duck and her ducklings fell into a sewer near the intersection of Hall and Logan avenues. After a concerned resident reported the very cute emergency, city staff reached in and saved the ducks. The ducklings then followed the mother, and then one duckling fell into the other sewer as it crossed the street. Perhaps begrudgingly, city staff removed the ducks from the second sewer, adding, the kicker, “They are dumb but alive.”


— No gas? Let’s riot! A gas station employee called the police as several customers were upset, because the store’s pumps were temporarily out of commission May 31 at 9:56 p.m. There was a gas leak somewhere, and so the gas was turned off and bags were put over the pumps to discourage use. The employee said the customers were so irate that they were pulling the bags off of the pumps, and still trying to get gas. Officer put yellow police tape around the gas pump island to keep cars out and offered extra patrol until the problem was fixed.

Rain-related issues

— There was a mudslide at Lothenbach Avenue and Robert Street South, on the north side of the Target building on June 1 at 7:49 a.m. It was partially blocking the street. A front-end loader from public works was called in to assist.

— A city pump near the 1300 block of Smith Avenue South wasn’t keeping up. Someone’s basement was flooding, and a neighbor’s was flooding, too. Public works staff took care of the problems June 1 at 8:55 a.m.

— Two branches were down, blocking the roadway at the 1300 block of Manomin Avenue June 1 at 12:17 p.m.

—Water was coming up a drain in a basement at the 1200 block of Galvin Avenue. Utilities staff responded June 1 after 1 p.m.


— A fire in a dumpster was reported June 1 at 9:27 p.m. at an apartment complex. Some residents were out grilling earlier, and it appeared they tossed the coals in the trash.

Inver Grove Heights

Disorderly conduct

— It doesn’t matter who you are, apparently the golden rule still applies. Police were summoned to a discount store May 17 around 4:40 p.m. A man became upset when the woman behind the counter asked him to wait his turn to be helped. He responded with some expletives, saying “I don’t need your help, b——.” The woman immediately got her manager, who asked the 34-year-old Woodbury man to kindly leave the store. Posturing, the man told the manager, “Come outside so I can show you how to be a man.” The manager declined, and then the man tried to spit at the manager, but missed his target. The manager told police he didn’t want to press charges, but rather wanted to make sure the man didn’t come back. The man told police that he yelled at the employee, because he spends a lot of money at the store, and she “should know who he was” and “he deserves respect.” The man said, “No one is ever going to disrespect me.” Respectfully, police told him he was no longer allowed to go to the store, contact the manager or the employee. Apparently the man agreed (not that he had a choice).

Suspicious circumstances

— Apparently dog-poop-bag-ing is the new TP-ing. Just after midnight May 18, a man called police, because he said someone was outside his house. He told police that someone rang the doorbell, and when he opened the front door, he saw a long rope tied to the handle of the front door, strung across the lawn and tied to the mailbox. The man then went outside and saw that someone had also turned on the outside water faucet. Nothing appeared to be missing or damaged; no one suspicious was spotted in the area. The officer told the man that it seemed to be a juvenile prank. The officer searched the surrounding area, and found that plastic bags meant for picking up dog feces were pulled out of the dispenser and strung through the trees and the softball fences around Rich Valley Park.


— Just after midnight May 19, a security guard for a dealership called police to report a theft. While making the rounds, the man noticed two cars were missing tires and rims. The four tires and rims were worth about $2,000 total. Concrete blocks were used to prop up the two vehicles. The associated lug nuts were found and dusted for prints, but no fingerprints were found. The officer directed extra patrols to all car dealerships.

—A car was broken into May 20, a theft reported around 5:43 p.m. on the 3100 block of 65th Street. The car owner said she saw a man with dreads break out her window with a screwdriver. The man made off with her purse, which contained her credit, debit and Social Security cards. The officer provided her with an identity theft brochure. Later that night, the thief apparently tried to use the cards in St. Paul, but they were declined.

Juvenile complaint

— Those darn kids and their arson attempts. An officer responded to a report of juveniles attempting to start a fire in the woods behind a home May 12 at 4:34 p.m. at the 8800 block of Brunswick Path. All three of the boys were younger than 14. One had a lighter. They told the officer they played with the lighter and tried to light sticks on fire. The officer explained the dangers of fire, and associated laws and ordinances. “They were all remorseful and apologetic,” the report says. The lighter was confiscated, and the kids were warned for their behavior and sent home.  

South St. Paul


— The owner of Dairy Queen reported an attempted burglary overnight June 2 at 6:52 a.m. at the 600 block of Southview Blvd. It appeared someone had tried to use a tool to pry it open (unsuccessfully). The business owner estimated the damage would cost up to $400. There were no cameras or possible suspects identified.

— The difference between a burglary and an attempted burglary can be as simple as a two-by-four. Police were dispatched to the Hitching Post around 2 a.m. May 29, due to a burglary alarm. The building appeared to be secure, so the call was cleared. A few hours later, the store manager discovered the south side double-door leading into the service bay was pushed in about 3 inches. There were two boot prints on the outside of the door. A two-by-four across the inside of the double doors appeared to have prevented any entry.

Traffic stop

— Double the tickets, double the fun? Not so much. An officer pulled over a woman driving a vehicle erratically at about 1 a.m. May 30. The 29-year-old said she was lost, and was trying to find her friend’s house, the same friend who she said owned the car. The officer looked her up, and found her license had been suspended. She received a ticket for that, and for no proof of insurance. The officer told her a licensed driver had to move her car. Less than an hour later, the officer saw the woman driving the car. Again. She received tickets for driving after suspension (for the second time), no proof of insurance (for the second time) and for not wearing a seatbelt. The vehicle was then towed in an attempt to prevent any further criminal activity.


— A 35-year-old St. Paul man was driving faster than the speed limit, but the real trouble came when the officer checked his history, which was filled with failures to appear in court or pay fines for traffic citations 27 times since 2012. The officer arrested the man. But, at least he was honest; the man had admitted right away that he did not have a valid driver’s license.


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