A 30-year-old Minneapolis woman is accused of attempting to steal $800 worth of merchandise from the Bloomington Kohl’s store, and when her getaway attempt was met with opposition, she may have turned the incident into a robbery case.

Bloomington police officers were dispatched to the Southtown Kohl’s store at approximately 10 p.m. July 18 following a report that the suspect brandished a knife as she was trying to flee the property with a store cart containing the merchandise she hadn’t paid for, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Damon Bitney.

According to a Kohl’s loss prevention officer, the woman entered the store and filled a cart with merchandise. She exited at the store’s east entrance without purchasing the merchandise and still rolling the car. When she was confronted by a loss prevention officer, she allegedly pulled out a pocketknife and pointed it at the man, telling him to stay back. At that point she fled the area, with cart in tow, toward Penn Avenue, Bitney explained.

It appeared that she was running toward a vehicle that was leaving the scene. Before any potential rendezvous, however, police officers responding to Kohl’s spotted both the woman and the vehicle, which matched the description provided by the loss prevention officer who initially confronted the woman, Bitney noted.

Police officers were able to detain both the woman and the vehicle at the scene. The loss prevention officer verified that the woman was the same woman he confronted at the store’s entrance. Although the woman declined to answer questions at the scene, the driver of the vehicle, a 54-year-old Minneapolis man was detained as well, and eventually arrested. While his vehicle was stopped, an officer speaking with the man noticed empty packaging inside the vehicle, packaging for a pocket knife similar to what the woman was reported to be carrying. After initially arresting the man in connection with the attempted theft, a search turned up suspected marijuana in his pocket, according to Bitney.

As the woman was being transported to jail, she claimed to be pregnant and in pain. After being checked out by paramedics, she was transported to a hospital, where it was determined she was not pregnant, Bitney noted. She also gave the name of one of her family members during the booking process. Once her identity was verified, it was determined that she had an outstanding Hennepin County warrant, he added.

The case is being submitted as a robbery due to the woman’s alleged use of a pocketknife during the incident. The robbery charge was not submitted against the driver, Bitney said.

Robbery arrests

A 66-year-old Bloomington woman didn’t take kindly to a robbery attempt at the Bloomington convenience store where she works.

Her tenacity helped police officers arrest two suspects in the case.

Officers were dispatched to Speedway, 8600 Lyndale Ave., at approximately 11:30 p.m. after a silent alarm was triggered. As officers responded to the report, a dispatch operator made contact with the employee, who reported two males had taken merchandise from the store and that she had been pushed down by one of them, according to Bitney.

The suspects entered the store separately, according to the victim. When the first male entered the store, the victim recognized him, as he was known to have stolen from the store previously. She told him he was not allowed in the store and had to leave. He didn’t take kindly to her instructions, but did comply, Bitney said.

A few minutes later, another male entered the store and immediately walked behind the store’s counter. The victim recognized the second male as well and knew that he had been at the store previously with the first male. The woman was not behind the counter when the second male entered, and she yelled at him as he grabbed tobacco products from behind the counter. As the second male began to flee, he ran at the victim and tackled her, causing her to hit her head as she fell to the floor. The male left, but the victim was able to get up and see him meet up with the first male before they fled the area, Bitney explained.

Based upon the victim’s descriptions of the duo, officers responding to the call had an idea of who the perpetrators might be. Police officers began surveillance of a residence on the 8500 block of Emerson Avenue, where one of the suspects lived, and a K-9 officer began tracking the duo from Speedway. The K-9 tracked the duo to the same residence police officers were watching, according to Bitney.

As the dog was tracking the duo, officers watching the Emerson Avenue residence noticed that there was a light on in a shed behind the residence, with movement inside. Once the K-9 tracked the duo to the residence, officers called the occupants out of the shed, and the victim was transported to the scene to verify the duo were the same males who had entered her store, Bitney said.

An 18-year-old Bloomington man and a 17-year-old Bloomington boy were arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

Steakhouse surprise

A stolen backpack at Mall of America was bad news for a 43-year-old Minneapolis man, but the suspect’s appetite helped police arrested her.

The victim was working at a food court restaurant inside the mall and went to retrieve his cellphone from his backpack at approximately 10:30 p.m. July 20 when he noticed that his backpack was missing from the back of the restaurant. After searching throughout the restaurant, he called the police to report it was stolen, Bitney said.

An officer was unable to respond to the report until approximately midnight, but that allowed the victim to contact his family, which used a search app to track his iPhone. The cellphone appeared to be in the vicinity of a nearby Outback Steakhouse, 1321 E. 78th St., Bitney said.

With a description of the backpack, officers responding to the report drove over to the restaurant and saw a backpack that appeared to match it. Uncertain if it was the victim’s backpack, they initiated a call to the victim’s cellphone, which began to ring inside the backpack. The woman with the backpack was detained, and the victim was transported to the restaurant, where he identified the backpack as his. The 26-year-old woman with no permanent address was arrested on suspicion of burglary, Bitney explained.

The suspect reported that his backpack contained cash as well as his cellphone, Bitney noted.

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

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