A duo suspected of grabbing cash from registers at retail businesses throughout the Twin Cities has been arrested in connection with two Bloomington incidents.

The 34-year-old St. Paul man and 20-year-old St. Paul woman are accused of grabbing cash from the Bloomington Target store on Oct. 12 and Cub Foods, 8421 Lyndale Ave., on Nov. 7. In both instances the duo fled the scene without being arrested, but the frequency of similar incidents across the metro area helped investigators link the suspects to several incidents.

As of Nov. 19, the suspects were in custody at the Hennepin County Jail, having been charged in the Bloomington incidents, and awaiting charges in several other cases, according to the jail roster.

During the Target incident, a duo entered the store at approximately 7:30 p.m. and drew the attention of the store’s loss prevention personnel, as the man and woman appeared to match the perpetrators of thefts from other Target stores. The man took a pack of gum to a cash register, and when the 68-year-old employee opened the cash drawer to complete the purchase, the woman walked up behind the employee and grabbed cash from the drawer, according to Bloomington Deputy Chief Mike Hartley.

A loss prevention officer attempted to confront the perpetrators as they were fleeing the store, and provided police officers with a description of the getaway vehicle, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Damon Bitney.

The Cub Foods incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m., with the woman approaching a cash register to make a small purchase and the man reaching into the cash drawer after a 77-year-old employee opened it. The duo fled the area and was not located by police officers, Bitney said

It appeared to be the same duo in both incidents, and Eden Prairie police officers helped identify the perpetrators, as the duo was involved in a traffic stop during the investigation of a similar incident that occurred in Eden Prairie on Oct. 16, according to Hartley.

Investigative collaboration among law enforcement agencies linked the suspects to 25 similar incidents in several cities, including Arden Hills, Blaine, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Maplewood, Minnetonka, New Brighton, Oakdale, Richfield, Shorewood and St. Louis Park, Hartley said.

The suspects were located in Minneapolis Nov. 11, where they were arrested by Bloomington police officers. Hartley declined to elaborate on the circumstances leading to the arrests.

Both suspects have been charged with one count of simple robbery and one count of theft in connection with the Bloomington incidents, and have several pending charges.

Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.

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