A failed attempt at shoplifting approximately $800 worth of merchandise from a Bloomington grocery store resulted in two arrests, one of which was a suspect in a December burglary at a Bloomington hotel.

Police officers were dispatched to Cub Foods, 8421 Lyndale Ave., shortly after midnight Feb. 4, on a report of a shoplifting incident in progress. A duo in the store were under surveillance as they were loading a shopping cart, seemingly at random. As officers were heading to the store, the 30-year-old Eagan woman and 29-year-old New Hope man fled the store with the cart, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Damon Bitney.

Officers arrived as the duo was fleeing the store, and attempted to chase down the suspects. Abandoning the cart, the duo entered a vehicle and drove off. An officer attempted to intervene as the New Hope man began to drive away, but was unable to do so, Bitney noted.

The duo didn’t get far, however, as officers began a pursuit of the vehicle. The suspects quickly pulled over and complied with officer commands, resulting in their arrest. The New Hope man said he initially fled the parking lot because he thought the officer attempting to detain him was a store security officer, Bitney explained.

Both were booked on suspicion of gross misdemeanor theft.

The Eagan woman had been identified as a suspect in a December burglary at the Renaissance Hotel, and was booked on suspicion of felony burglary, as well.

Video game consoles and games, a laptop computer and other electronics items, valued at more than $11,000, were reported stolen Jan. 6. The hotel, 5500 American Blvd. W., determined that the items – taken from a banquet room, a maintenance office and an employee area – were stolen in late December, Bitney said.

Surveillance video provided investigators with images of the perpetrators, and those images were circulated to area police departments, which provided the identity of the Eagan woman, Bitney explained.

Multi-city pursuit

A stolen vehicle fleeing police officers in Brooklyn Center wound up crashing into a Bloomington garage, and its three occupants were arrested after they were found hiding in the nearby neighborhood.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz, which had been stolen in Minneapolis, turned up in Brooklyn Center, and attempts to conduct a traffic stop were abandoned after the driver refused to pull over. An alert for the vehicle was disseminated to area law enforcement agencies, and the Edina Police Department spotted the vehicle as it traveled southbound on Highway 100 shortly after midnight Feb. 10, Bitney said.

An Edina police officer began pursuit of the vehicle, which drove south into Bloomington. The vehicle was traveling south in the northbound lanes of Normandale Boulevard. At that point the Edina officer ended his pursuit of the vehicle, according to Bitney.

But a Bloomington police officer spotted the vehicle moments later, after it shifted to the southbound lanes and turned off Normandale Boulevard. The officer soon lost sight of the vehicle, however, as it approached the intersection of 98th Street and Nesbitt Avenue, Bitney said.

Another officer spotted the Mercedes heading eastbound on 102nd Street at Normandale Boulevard. The vehicle continued to flee at a high speed, running a red light in the process. Officers were unable to set up stop sticks to disable the vehicle at Xerxes Avenue as it continued east, but when the vehicle headed north at Penn Avenue, an officer at Ivy Lane was able to deploy stop sticks, Bitney explained.

The driver avoided the stop sticks, but lost control of the vehicle in doing so, going off the road and damaging a tree before the vehicle came to rest against a garage door. The occupants fled before an officer could reach the vehicle, prompting a search of the area, Bitney said.

With a K-9 officer tracking footprints in the snow, three men were arrested. A 20-year-old St. Paul man was found hiding in shrubbery along a wooden fence and did not surrender until the dog attacked him. A 25-year-old Cambridge man was found hiding under a vehicle in an unlocked garage, and an 18-year-old Maple Grove man was found hiding in a window well. Both of those men surrendered without incident, Bitney noted.

All three men were booked on suspicion of auto theft, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, fleeing a police officer on foot and hit-and-run property damage.

Angry husband

A 40-year-old Eagan man was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary, accused of breaking into a Bloomington apartment where his wife was staying.

Police officers were dispatched to the 8800 block of 18th Avenue at approximately 1:40 a.m. Feb. 9. The suspect had already fled the apartment when the 53-year-old resident and the suspect’s 46-year-old wife called the police, Bitney said.

The suspect’s wife told the police she had been discussing her pending divorce with her husband the previous evening, and that the discussion turned into an argument. She left their Eagan home and went to her friend’s apartment, a friend she didn’t think her husband knew. She suspected that her husband followed her after she left their home, Bitney explained.

The woman was asleep when she heard loud knocking at the door. The friend, a 53-year-old man, went to door and heard a voice outside saying someone was breaking into his car. The man opened the door and quickly determined the claim was a ruse. He closed and locked the door, and the suspect responded by kicking the door several times. He quit, but appeared moments later at another apartment entrance, according to Bitney.

The suspect knocked that door off its frame and entered the apartment. The woman’s friend attempted to keep the suspect away from her as they both yelled at him to leave the apartment. When he did, they called 911, Bitney noted.

The suspect was located at his apartment a few hours later and taken into custody by the Eagan Police Department, he added.

Bad checks

A 29-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of setting up a bank account at a Bloomington credit union and using it to deposit fraudulent checks.

Police officers were dispatched to My Credit Union, 4025 W. Old Shakopee Road, during the afternoon of Feb. 5, as the suspect was attempting to withdraw cash from a drive-thru lane of the credit union, Bitney said.

The suspect had recently opened an account and made an initial deposit, receiving a portion of the check’s total in cash. He returned the following day to deposit a larger check, but did not ask for cash at that time. On Feb. 2 the credit union learned that the initial check had been deemed a forgery, Bitney explained.

The suspect’s activity was reported Feb. 3. When officers responded to the call that he had returned on Feb. 5, they arrived before he left the credit union. When asked for identification, the suspect, who was a passenger in the vehicle, claimed not to have any with him, and initially gave a false name, Bitney said.

Following further questioning, the suspect was arrested on suspicion of forgery, identity theft and giving false information to a police officer, Bitney noted. The suspect also had two warrants.

The driver of the vehicle, a 47-year-old Bloomington man, said he was unaware of the suspect’s activities, and was not arrested at the scene. A search of the vehicle, however, turned up a variety of items consistent with identity theft, including Social Security and identification cards, tax return forms, several checks made out to different people, blank check forms, a computer and printer. The items were collected as evidence and the vehicle was impounded, Bitney said.

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

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