Bloomington Police Department investigators are working with the FBI to identify the perpetrator of a Bloomington bank robbery.

The robbery occurred at approximately noon Nov. 5, at U.S. Bank, 5149 W. 98th St.

A white male who appeared to be in his mid-40s, approximately 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8, entered the bank inside the Normandale Village shopping center and handed a note to a bank teller, demanding cash. He was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans with a design on the pockets, an Oakley-brand knit hat and a blue surgical mask. It was unknown how he fled the shopping center after exiting the bank, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Mike Utecht.

Surveillance images of the perpetrator are available online at tr.im/bank5. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Det. George Harms at 952-563-4689.

Purse thief

A 29-year-old Minneapolis man who is a known shoplifter was arrested outside a Mall of America department store, accused of stealing approximately $5,000 worth of purses.

Police officers were dispatched to the mall at approximately 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 after a Nordstrom loss prevention officer reported that the suspect fled the mall with the merchandise. The officer reported that the suspect was observed carrying four purses, which had been secured to a store display, toward the store exit. When he was confronted by the loss prevention officer, the suspect threatened to spray the officer with mace before fleeing the scene, according to Utecht.

The suspect’s getaway didn’t take him very far, however, as officers responding to the report located him in a skyway between the mall and a parking ramp, where he was arrested. He had a tool in his possession that may have been used to defeat the wire chain that had secured the purses to the in-store display, Utecht noted.

The suspect was booked on suspicion of simple robbery and possession of burglary tools.

Crime of opportunity

A 27-year-old Bloomington man is accused of theft, although he disputes how successful he was.

Police officers were dispatched to Taco Bell, 9230 Lyndale Ave., at approximately noon Nov. 8. A 29-year-old Richfield woman reported that her wallet and cellphone were missing. She had set them down near the drink dispenser. After realizing she failed to retrieve them, they were missing, Utecht said.

Restaurant surveillance video showed the suspect taking the victim’s wallet and cellphone, which were found in a trash bin. The wallet was missing cash and gift cards, and the victim reported she had $2,000 in her wallet, Utecht noted.

Surveillance video showed that the suspect left the restaurant and went to the nearby Midas auto repair shop. With a description of the perpetrator from the surveillance video, officers learned that the suspect’s vehicle was being repaired at Midas. He was not there at the time, but when he returned to pick up his vehicle, he was wearing the same clothing as shown in the video, leading to his arrest on suspicion of felony theft, according to Utecht.

Upon his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a handgun, which he is prohibited from possessing due to his criminal history. He also had a small bag of suspected marijuana in his possession, Utecht noted.

The suspect acknowledged taking the wallet from inside the restaurant, but said the contents of it were not as substantial as the victim reported, Utecht added.

Sandwich theft results in robbery arrest

The unwillingness of a 31-year-old woman with no permanent address to pay for a sandwich at a Bloomington convenience store resulted in her arrest for robbery.

Police officers were dispatched to Holiday Stationstore, 7901 Nicollet Ave., shortly before noon Nov. 4. A manager at the store provided a description of the 31-year-old woman, who had left prior to officers arriving, according to Utecht.

The 48-year-old manager said that the woman had entered the convenience store and spent more than 20 minutes walking around. She appeared to be selecting merchandise and placing it with her personal possessions. The manager eventually confronted the woman, telling her she needed to pay for items she appeared to be concealing in a purse. The woman responded by hitting the manager multiple times, and then leaving the store, Utecht explained.

The suspect walked away, and headed south on Nicollet Avenue. She had left some of her personal items in the store as she was placing store merchandise in her purse, including items with her name on them. With a description of the woman, an officer found her walking near the intersection of 85th Street and Nicollet Avenue, where she was detained. Upon verification that it was the same woman from Holiday, she was arrested on suspicion of simple robbery, Utecht said.

It appeared that she had left the store with nothing more than a sandwich, he noted.

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

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