Homeowner, 81, fights off trio of armed burglars in New Brighton


Mohamed Adan

Abshir Ali

Yusef Ali

Two suspects lead police on foot chase through Long Lake Regional Park

Three men were apprehended by New Brighton police officers after a residential burglary Nov. 30. Now they have been implicated in several other crimes, including multiple mail theft incidents and motor vehicle theft. 

A nine-page police report chronicles their dramatic capture, and documents a foot chase, guns, pet dogs and ice cold water. 

In the end, police arrested Mohamed Adan, 22, and Abshir Ali, 26, both of Columbia Heights, and Yusef Ali, 25, of Minneapolis. They’re facing first-degree burglary charges.

A pair of older homeowners, ages 81 and 73, was the first link in halting the trio’s alleged crime spree. 

The couple returned to their house in the 1100 block of Mississippi Street, and told police they stumbled upon a daytime burglary. 

Police received several calls from neighbors regarding the home invasion. At least one neighbor reported seeing the 81-year-old male homeowner “physically fighting with several Somali male intruders,” according to the police report. 

While en route to the house, officers learned that two of the suspects had fled on foot, eastbound, across Rice Creek on a pedestrian bridge into Long Lake Regional Park. 

While one squad car responded to the house, other emergency vehicles went directly to the park to search for the fleeing suspects. 

 

First suspect had loaded gun

Officer Tom Nerison arrived at the house, spotted an occupied vehicle parked outside, drew his handgun and approached it, finding the third male suspect reportedly passed out in the front seat of what appeared to be the “getaway” vehicle. 

The vehicle was later identified by police as a stolen car used in a liquor theft from a delivery truck earlier that same day. 

The passed out man was held at gunpoint until backup officers arrived to assist Nerison. 

The doors of the vehicle were locked, so officers said they attempted to break a window, but the disruption woke the driver, Adan, who then fumbled around, trying to unlock the doors.

According to the criminal complaint, it not only turned out that Adan was intoxicated, but that he had a rifle nestled underneath his arm. 

As soon as the gun came into view, an officer reportedly yelled, “Gun,” and the officers worked to restrain Adan from reaching for it. 

The gun fell to the ground and officers placed Adan in handcuffs and put him in the back of a squad car. 

According to the criminal complaint, the gun was loaded, and later determined to have been stolen from the burglarized house.

Police said they also found a desktop computer and monitor, children’s toys, a breastfeeding gift set, a case of wine and several other items in the vehicle, some reportedly stolen from the elderly victims, some not. 

In the complaint, officers described the couple’s house as ransacked and in “extreme disarray.” 

It appeared that the men had entered by throwing a landscaping rock through a glass sliding door. 

Belongings and food were reportedly “strewn all over.” 

 

A foot chase 

Meanwhile, according to one of several officers’ narratives regarding the search for the two fleeing suspects, a passerby was out walking his dogs in Long Lake Park when he spotted two men walking at an unusually brisk pace through the park. 

The dog owner said the men were behaving oddly and making abrupt turns. Having already heard about the neighborhood burglary from the homeowners themselves, the witness called 911 to report the two men and began to follow them. 

Eventually, the 61-year-old dog owner yelled to the two men, warning them to stop or he’d release his dogs on them. At that, the men, identified later as Abshir Ali and Yusef Ali, began running away. 

The dog owner didn’t end up unleashing his barking pets, according to the complaint, but continued to follow the two men.

The suspects reportedly dropped several items while fleeing, including a GPS unit, perfume, gold jewelry and candy. 

The dog owner told the police dispatcher that he and the dogs were following the suspects, and that the men had split up, going on separate paths, but then they came back together. 

Trevor Hamdorf, who was recently promoted to the position of deputy director of the New Brighton Department of Public Safety, spotted the fleeing men. He got out of his squad car and drew his gun, demanding they stop and drop to the ground, but they ignored the order and continued running, according to the report. 

Both men dashed into a wooded area and eventually tripped over a tree, fell to their stomachs and began complying with commands from police, the report reads. 

However, Yusef Ali, reportedly got back up and took off running once more. Abshir Ali stayed on the ground and was handcuffed. 

“I watched the second male continue to flee, through the water-filled canal and continue for approximately 100 yards and then lay down in some trees and brush,” Hamdorf said in his report. 

When officer Bradley Krebsbach joined Hamdorf, the two went after Yusef Ali, wading through the frigid, waist-high water. They approached the suspect and apprehended him without further incident. 

When the suspects were brought in separately for questioning, only Yusef Ali agreed to talk, but denied knowing or remembering anything about his day, according to the police report. 

The criminal complaint alleged that Abshir Ali and Adan just lobbed profanities at investigators during attempted interviews. 

During the investigation process, officials said stolen mail was discovered in the stolen getaway car. The mail likely belonged to Northeast Minneapolis residents.

Days earlier, New Brighton police officers were notified via a community Facebook page of the suspects and the stolen car they were using, in regards to the reported mail thefts. 

In addition, investigators believe the three men were also involved in a theft incident at a Minneapolis Liquor Barrel earlier that same day. 

Detectives are asking residents who are missing possessions to contact New Brighton police at 651-288-4100.

 

Charges and criminal history

Each man has a criminal history, according to court records. In 2014, Adan was convicted of felony robbery. In 2013, Yusef Ali was convicted of aiding in a felony robbery. Abshir Ali was convicted of the same thing in 2010.

The three men were formally charged with first-degree burglary Dec. 2 in connection with the Nov. 30 incident.

Adan faces an additional charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. According to the complaint, he was prohibited from having a weapon because he had previously been convicted for a crime of violence.

A $75,000 bail was set for each of the men.   

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815.

 

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