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Cops Crack Corvette Case, Catch Clumsy Crooks

Early last week a new Corvette at a Minnetonka car dealer became prey to two thieves. And security footage caught one fumbling crook letting his ill-gotten loot just roll away. That and more in this week's Minnetonka Police blotter.

Two twin cities men have each been charged with three felony counts in connection with a vandalism and theft that Minnetonka Police say happened at Village Chevrolet in Minnetonka last week.

According to court documents, early in the morning on March 28, a Minnetonka Police sergeant on routine patrol of the car dealer lots along Interstate 394, noticed a new Corvette ZRI sitting on concrete landscape blocks with its tires and rims missing.

Only hours earlier, a Minnesota State Trooper had stopped a Lincoln Town Car on Interstate 394 near Minneapolis because the car’s two occupants were not wearing their seatbelts. During that routine traffic stop, the state trooper noticed two new tires and Corvette rims in the backseat of that Town Car. When asked about the tires, one of them men in the car reportedly told the trooper that he’d had them for a week.

Upon further inspection however, the state trooper found two more tires and rims along with floor jacks, tire irons, a flashlight, gloves and concrete landscape blocks, inside that car. 

Both men were taken into custody on the scene and the Town Car was impounded. One of the men, a 23-year-old from Fridley, reportedly had oil and grease on his hands. The other man, a 21-year-old from Oak Grove, was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

Surveillance cameras at Village Chevrolet captured video of a man—wearing a black hooded sweatshirt—less than an hour before the traffic stop. In the surveillance footage the man was chasing a loose Corvette tire around the parking lot.

The next day Minnetonka Police detectives worked to put together a case against the two male occupants—matching up the serial numbers of the stolen tires and rims with those found in the impounded Town Car.

According to representatives from Village Chevrolet who were cited in court documents, more than $7,000 in damage was done to the Corvette’s brakes during the theft. Also, the tires and rims had a retail value of nearly $10,000.

The two men are each charged with felony theft, receiving stolen property and damage to property. If convicted they each face 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

OTHER INCIDENTS OF NOTE

Home invasion reported while Minnetonka woman was home

Just before noon on Monday, April 4, a woman called Minnetonka Police after an intruder entered her home.  The suspect fled, but was taken into custody. No one was injured in the incident. That man was charged on Wednesday by the Hennepin County Attorney. Minnetonka Patch will have a full story on April 7.

Disgruntled Ex-Employee Hacks into Bank Computer System, Wreaks Havoc

On March 22, the Hennepin County Attorney charged a 32-year-old Cottage Grove man with two counts of felony computer damage. According to court documents, hours after being fired from his job as an IT Technician at the in Minnetonka, the man hacked into the bank’s computer system and deleted critical information and software including user profiles and/or accounts, password directories and a virtual server.

Investigators from the  subpoenaed Comcast Communications for records to determine the IP address that the alleged perpetrator used to mount the cyber-attack. With those records in hand, officers tracked down the defendant to his home in Cottage Grove.

The bank was unable to restore the lost information and software. The replacement cost for new bank software cost was more than $8000.

If convicted, the man faces 15 years in jail and fines up to $60,000.  

Man Swipes $1900 Bottle of Booze from Ridgedale Byerly’s

Last month, the Hennepin County Attorney charged a 55-year-old Richfield man with felony theft in connection with an incident that occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 15 at the 

According to court documents, the man entered the store, picked up a bottle of Remy Martin cognac, put the bottle in his coat and then left without paying. Surveillance cameras captured the incident.

If convicted, the man could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The man has numerous prior theft convictions and an open felony theft case in Hennepin County.

Ridgedale Target Employee Charged with Stealing Five iPods

Last month, the Hennepin County Attorney charged a 27-year-old Minneapolis man with felony theft in connection with five missing iPod Touch devices, stolen from the .

The man, a store employee at the time of the thefts, is alleged to have stolen the iPods between December 2010 and January 2011. Surveillance cameras captured the man putting at least three of the devices in his pants pocket and then leaving the store without paying for them.

In a post-Miranda interview with Minnetonka Police detectives after being arrested, the man admitted to stealing three of the iPods, reportedly telling officers that he needed the money.

If convicted, the man could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

WEEKLY POLICE CALLS

March 29

12:46 a.m.: Minnetonka Police responded to the 4000 block of Williston Road after a call came in reporting assault. Minnetonka Patch is seeking more information on the call.

7:54 p.m.: Minnetonka Police were dispatched to the  after a call came in reporting a theft from an automobile.

March 30

5:52 p.m.: A burglary was reported in the 4800 block of Westgate Road in Minnetonka. Minnetonka Patch is seeking more information on the call.

March 31

3:28 a.m.: A burglary was reported in the 16800 block of Patricia Lane in Minnetonka.  

4:17 p.m.: A 20-year-old man who lives in the 16800 block of Patricia Lane in Minnetonka was arrested for first-degree burglary. According to arrest reports he was taken into custody by Minnetonka Police at the address from where a burglary call came in at 3:28 p.m. First-degree burglary is committed when a person unlawfully enters a residence, with the intention of committing a crime against either the inhabitant or the property within. It’s a Class A felony, meaning that if charged and convicted this man could spend six years in prison. No more information has been released about the case.

April 1

4:33 p.m.: A burglary was reported in the 16800 block of Patricia Lane in Minnetonka. 

7:24 p.m.: A theft from a car was reported in the 17000 block of Patricia Lane. 

Last week, Minnetonka Police responded to 455 calls for service, made 396 traffic stops and 40 arrests, and wrote 181 traffic citations. Also last week, Minnetonka Fire duty crews responded to, one mutual aid request from Eden Prairie, 16 medical calls and three false alarms. Information in this report was taken from the Crime Activity Report and Hennepin County court documents. 

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