Whatever the occasion, the party likely ended for bus passengers in Bloomington after approximately two dozen gunshots peppered their vehicle.

The “party bus” was parked in a parking lot near CW’s Bar and Grill, 8301 Normandale Blvd., shortly after 12:30 a.m. July 14. Members of the group were returning to the bus, while others were already on the bus, when gunshots struck the vehicle. There were no reported injuries at the scene, according to Mike Hartley, Bloomington’s interim police chief.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Bloomington Police Department at 952-563-4900.

Tracking a thief

A 26-year-old Minneapolis man’s wallet and cellphone were stolen, and he wasn’t content with simply reporting the crime.

The victim’s items had been stolen in Minneapolis July 9. Bloomington Police officers ended up arresting two people in connection with the stolen credit cards at Mall of America after the victim called to report the cards were being used at the mall on July 10.

The victim called from Mall of America at approximately noon. A police officer responding to the call spoke with the victim, who said he was informed a credit card in his name was being used at the mall, although he also reported he had deactivated his credit card. He surmised that the card was reactivated through the use of his stolen telephone, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Mike Utecht.

The suspect, an 18-year-old St. Paul man, had attempted to make a purchase at a custom T-shirt store, and had attempted to purchase a T-shirt with his photo on it. The image provided for the T-shirt helped officers locate the suspect through mall surveillance cameras. He was part of a group at the mall, and following questioning of the man, he was arrested on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud. A search of the man turned up multiple credit cards that were not in his name, Utecht said.

The suspect was in possession of a handgun that had its serial number removed. He was a convicted felon, so he was booked for violating his firearm restriction and possessing a firearm with its serial number removed, Utecht noted.

A 15-year-old St. Paul girl in the group was also determined to have been a part of one of the attempted credit card transaction at the mall, and upon her arrest, she was found to be in possession of one of the stolen credit cards, as well, Utecht added.

Robbery?

A report of two men fighting outside a Bloomington hotel resulted in the arrest of one of the men on suspicion of robbery.

Police officers were dispatched to Super 8, 7800 Second Ave., at approximately 10 p.m. July 13. The men were fighting outside the hotel, and were still at the scene when officers arrived. The victim, a 27-year-old Richfield man, told police he was entering the elevator when he was approached by the suspect, who accused him of wearing the suspect’s watch and shoes. His demands to have the alleged stolen merchandise returned soon turned into an assault, Utecht explained.

It was unclear why the victim went outside with the suspect, a 40-year-old Chanhassen man, or why the victim gave his watch to the suspect, but questioning of both men resulted in the suspect’s arrest on suspicion of simple robbery and third-degree assault, Utecht said.

Cooler heads prevail

A 30-year-old Bloomington man’s suspicious activity at Southtown Shopping Center garnered plenty of attention, and resulted in his arrest on suspicion of receiving stolen property.

The stolen property included a laptop computer that had been reported stolen during a residential burglary, Utecht said.

The call that sent police officers to the Southtown parking lot was an assault report. A 46-year-old employee of Southtown Tobacco reported that the suspect had entered the store and attempted to steal cigarettes. Although the employee scuffled with the suspect when confronting him, the employee ultimately did not want to press charges, and noted that the suspect took a set of keys from the store, according to Utecht.

The employee added that when the suspect left the store, he approached a cooler sitting alongside the nearby Kohl’s store. Officers at the scene saw the cooler sitting near the store’s loading dock area, and an officer began surveillance of it to see if the suspect returned to the cooler. He did, although he spotted the squad car parked nearby and turned around. He then walked to the nearby Panda Express restaurant, Utecht explained.

When the suspect exited the restaurant, he had removed his sweatshirt and thrown it in a garbage can. He then walked toward Penn Avenue, where an officer confronted and questioned him. A check of the cooler turned up the laptop computer and other items linked to the burglary, and resulted in the suspect being arrested. He was booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property, as it was not clear at the time if he was responsible for the burglary, Utecht noted.

The keys that were reported missing were found near the cooler, he added.

Foolish antics

Four people were arrested following a report they were throwing fireworks from their vehicle.

The suspects were parked at McDonald’s, 8040 Nicollet Ave., at approximately 11:40 p.m. July 10. Police officers responding to the report spoke with a witness, who pointed officers toward the suspects’ vehicle. An officer questioned the occupants, and could smell marijuana inside the vehicle. When asked if the group was in possession of marijuana, the driver acknowledged that they had marijuana in the console of the vehicle, Utecht said.

The group then exited the vehicle while a search of the vehicle was conducted. The search turned up the marijuana, as well as a handgun that was reported stolen in Anoka, resulting in the arrest of all four occupants of the vehicle. A search of the occupants also turned up additional narcotics, Utecht noted.

Arrested were a 19-year-old Minneapolis man, a 19-year-old St. Paul man, a 19-year-old woman with no permanent address and a 16-year-old Minneapolis boy. They were all booked on charges related to possession of narcotics and possession of the stolen handgun, as it was unclear who had been in possession of the gun, according to Utecht.

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

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