A 33-year-old homeless man was arrested at a Bloomington office tower, where he is suspected of spending considerable time within several office suites.

The suspect was arrested during the afternoon of March 23 after police officers were dispatched to International Plaza, 7900 International Drive. Security personnel at the west Bloomington office tower had identified the man as the suspect in several burglaries reported earlier in the day, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Damon Bitney.

Police officers initially took burglary reports when occupants of several office suites determined that they had been entered. There was no sign of forced entry into the offices, and a building employee reported that a proxy card had been lost, which allows entry into the offices, Bitney explained.

Burglary reports varied, with one office reporting that nothing appeared to be missing. Personnel at another office reported that a back door of the suite, which typically remains locked, was unlocked. Clothing items had been left behind in the office, and it looked as if somebody had spent considerable time in an area with a television, as there was a beverage bottle, potato chip bag and other trash left in the area. There was also evidence that items had been removed from a refrigerator in a kitchen area, Bitney said.

Another office reported its kitchen area appeared to have been searched, and a company credit card was missing from a file cabinet. A $400 laptop was missing from a different office suite, and it appeared the office had been searched. A petty cash box was missing from another office suite, which reported that empty bottles and trash were left on the floor. And an unknown pair of binoculars was found in the office, Bitney noted.

Building security officers identified the suspect through video surveillance. The suspect was wearing a traffic vest as he was wandering through the building, matching a vest that was missing within the building, according to Bitney.

Officers responding to the suspect report found the man inside the building. Upon questioning him and verifying his identity, it was determined he had an outstanding gross misdemeanor warrant, prompting his arrest. A search of the suspect following his arrest turned up a proxy card that was verified as the card that was missing, resulting in the suspect’s booking on suspicion of third-degree burglary, Bitney explained.

Attempted burglary

An 18-year-old Minnetonka man who has a habit of finding trouble was arrested in Bloomington, accused of attempted burglary.

Police officers were dispatched to Dred Scott Playfield, 10820 Bloomington Ferry Road, shortly after midnight March 20, following a report of two suspicious males attempting to access a storage shed at the park. The caller said the males appeared to be wearing dark clothing and hooded sweatshirts, according to Bitney.

Officers responding to the report found the Minnetonka man, who appeared to be attempting to break into the shed. He was confronted at the scene and complied with officer commands, Bitney noted.

The suspect was wearing a lanyard with an ID for a local business and several keys. He was holding tools and had a backpack nearby with additional tools. The backpack also had additional sets of keys and a staff identification card for the St. Louis Park school district. Upon verifying his identity, it was determined that he had two outstanding burglary warrants and one motor vehicle theft warrant, prompting his arrest, Bitney said.

The suspect did not gain entry to the shed, but it had been damaged, Bitney noted.

When asked if he had an accomplice, the suspect acknowledged he was with another male. He said he didn’t know where the man was and noted that he might have a gun. Officers searching the area were unable to find the accomplice, according to Bitney.

The suspect was booked on suspicion of attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools, in addition to the outstanding warrants.

Monopoly money?

A 28-year-old Richfield woman claimed she had no idea that her $100 bill was counterfeit, but the pink discoloration of the bill should have been a tipoff.

The suspect was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. March 19 at 7/8 Liquors, 7920 Nicollet Ave., after she asked for change for her bill, Bitney said.

The woman entered the store and purchased alcohol with a credit card, according to a store clerk. After the purchase, she asked the clerk if he could make change for a $100 bill. Her bill, nearly pink in color, had other indications it was counterfeit. The clerk told the woman that it wasn’t real, and the woman claimed she thought it was, and left without the bill, according to Bitney.

The clerk then called the police who responded moments later. The woman was sitting in her vehicle when officers arrived and was questioned about the bill. She claimed that she works in the service industry and received the bill through her job. She said she thought it was a real bill, but her story changed as she was questioned about the bill, resulting in her arrest on suspicion of possessing counterfeit currency, Bitney explained.

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

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