A duo suspected of stealing alcohol from two Bloomington liquor stores and assaulting a store employee was arrested following a pursuit into Minneapolis.
A 22-year-old Minneapolis woman and a 17-year-old Minneapolis girl were arrested following the Feb. 11 incidents, which occurred at MGM Wine & Spirits and United Liquors, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Mike Utecht.
Police officers were dispatched to the MGM at 629 W. 98th St. at approximately 8:20 p.m. after a store employee reported that the duo, suspected of having shoplifted at the store in the past, had returned to the store. The store’s management wanted the women removed from the store, but when officers arrived, the women had already departed, and were reported to be driving a red Chevrolet Malibu. Employees said the duo headed north on Lyndale Avenue, Utecht said.
The women soon turned up at United Liquors, 8915 Penn Ave., where a 62-year-old employee confronted them when it appeared they were concealing bottles of alcohol in a large purse. The women responded by pushing the man into a store shelf then hitting him on the head with a bottle and punching him.
The duo fled the store and headed north on Penn Avenue. A witness at the scene described their vehicle as a red Malibu, and provided a license plate number, Utecht noted.
A patrol officer heard the incident report and spotted a red Malibu with two occupants traveling north on Penn Avenue at 82nd Street. The officer followed the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver ran a red light at 78th Street and turned east onto Interstate 494, according to Utecht.
From there the pursuit of the vehicle traveled across Bloomington to northbound Highway 77. At Highway 62 the driver exited west to Interstate 35W, where she headed north. She initially exited at Diamond Lake Road in Minneapolis and slowed down, but then proceeded back to the freeway, exiting at 46th Street, Utecht said.
The roads were icy, but the driver went east on 46th Street to Chicago Avenue, where she turned north. With the officer still in pursuit and with assistance for other police officers, the vehicle was disabled by a PIT maneuver, crashing into another squad car and ending the chase, Utecht noted.
Both women were taken into custody. Inside the vehicle was a large purse, matching the description of the purse at the liquor stores, which had bottles of alcohol in it. Jackets in the vehicle also matched descriptions provided by witnesses at the liquor stores, according to Utecht.
The women were booked on suspicion of first-degree aggravated robbery and fleeing a police officer, and the 22-year-old woman had an outstanding misdemeanor theft warrant.
A carjacking behind a Bloomington liquor store ended with the arrest of one man in Minneapolis.
Police officers were dispatched to Total Wine & More, 4260 W. 78th St., at 9:40 p.m. Feb. 9 after a 40-year-old Phoenix man reported the carjacking. He was parked on the west side of the building and placing items in a recycling bin when a white truck pulled up behind his vehicle. Two men were inside the truck and the passenger in the truck pointed a rifle toward the victim. The victim was uncertain if it was a toy, but the man exited the truck and demanded the keys to the Ford Explorer, Utecht said.
The victim complied, and was able to remove his backpack from the Explorer before the men drove off. The vehicle was from a rental agency, and after reporting the theft, the agency was able to track the Explorer’s location to the vicinity of 38th Street and Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis.
With location information, a Minneapolis police officer located the vehicle shortly after 11 p.m. and arrested the driver, a 37-year-old Blue Earth man, according to Utecht. He was booked on suspicion of auto theft and second-degree aggravated robbery.
Inside the vehicle was a paintball gun designed like an assault rifle. The accomplice in the white truck has not been identified, Utecht noted.
A stolen vehicle with a stolen license plate at Mall of America drew the attention of the police, and ended with the arrest of two people.
The vehicle was identified by its stolen license plate as it entered the mall’s west parking ramp at approximately 6 p.m. Feb. 12. Police officers responding to the report found a white Chevrolet Silverado parked in the corner of the ramp’s fourth level. It was unoccupied, and had two different license plates, according to Utecht.
One of the plates had been reported stolen in Fridley, and the truck had been reported stolen in Minneapolis. Mall security personnel were able to provide a description of its occupants, based upon surveillance video, and a search for the duo began inside the mall.
The duo was spotted by a police officer who saw the man and woman inside Nordstrom. The officer was in the store’s loss prevention office at the time and identified them through live surveillance video, Utecht explained.
Officers quickly approached the duo in the store, and when the 38-year-old Minneapolis man was told he was under arrest as an officer grabbed his arm, the man tried to pull away and run. The officer maintained his grip and took the man down to the ground. The suspect continued to resist arrest and was shot with a Taser gun prior to being handcuffed, Utecht said.
The suspect had a loaded handgun in his waistband at the time of his arrest, and suspected narcotics in his possession. In the truck, officers found drug paraphernalia and an ammunition box that matched the handgun, Utecht noted.
The suspect was booked on suspicion of auto theft, narcotics possession, obstructing a police officer with force and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also had warrants for burglary, theft and assault at the time of his arrest. His companion, an 18-year-old Minneapolis woman, was booked for narcotics possession and riding in a stolen vehicle.
A 23-year-old Minneapolis woman went to the well one too many times, and ended up arrested on suspicion of theft.
The suspect was visiting Mall of America’s Sephora store for at least the third time in as many days when store employees called police during the afternoon of Feb. 13. She was a suspect in the theft of perfumes during two previous days, and she appeared to be concealing fragrance bottles in her bag while inside the store on the third day. She exited the store without paying for the merchandise.
Based upon her image from surveillance video, she was identified by police as the suspect in other thefts. When an officer spotted her in a mall skyway and called her by name, the suspect dropped her bag and tried to run. But the officer quickly caught up to her and arrested her, according to Utecht.
The suspect had taken approximately $1,400 worth of merchandise that afternoon, and the store estimated she had taken approximately $3,400 worth of merchandise during her three visits to the store, Utecht noted.
She was booked on suspicion of felony theft and fleeing a police officer on foot.
Follow Bloomington community editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.
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