A Brooklyn Center man already implicated in a credit-card fraud case in Minnetonka has now been accused of burglarizing at least two homes in Maple Grove.
Lionel Melaki Timms, 24, is charged with two felony counts of second-degree burglary in the Maple Grove incidents. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Maple Grove Police Officer Laurel Slawson, police were called to a home in the 6200 block of Orleans Lane North to investigate a burglary just after 10 p.m. Oct. 8.
The homeowner told police that he had been at work all day, and when he returned home, he discovered a number of items missing, including an iPad, a camera, a book and miscellaneous USB cables. He estimated the value of the missing items at $1,340.
Police found no signs of forced entry.
Earlier that day, a Maple Grove police officer responded to a report of a burglary in the 6200 block of Nathan Lane North. One of the residents told police that when she came downstairs that morning, her laptop computer was missing from the dining room table, where she left it the night before. She and her husband also discovered other items missing, the complaint says.
Police learned later that a family in the 6200 block of North Eagle Lake Drive had surveillance video of someone trying to break into their house, which is within blocks of the other burglarized homes. Officers distributed a photo of the suspect from that video, and Minnetonka police – who were investigating the man for burglarizing a home in that city and using a stolen credit card – identified him as Timms.
Minnetonka police questioned Timms, who denied knowing anything about the Minnetonka burglaries but said whoever was committing them was using a method that he had devised – going from house to house and trying garage and sliding-glass doors to gain access to homes, then taking purses, wallets and computers, according to the complaint.
After seeing the surveillance photograph, Minnetonka police tracked down Timms again and asked him about the Maple Grove burglaries. He admitted to committing “three or four” of the crimes, and admitted to two burglaries in Minnetonka, the complaint charges.
Timms subsequently confessed to committing residential burglaries on Plymouth Road and Windyhill Road in Minnetonka on Sept. 28, and to four nighttime burglaries in Maple Grove in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, according to the complaint.
Timms said he walked through an unlocked door at the Nathan Lane home, found a laptop computer on the dining-room table and took the computer and its case, the complaint says. He confessed to climbing onto a balcony to gain entrance to the home on Orleans Lane, from which he took an iPad, a camera and a camera bag, the complaint charges.
Maple Grove police are still investigating two other Oct. 8 burglaries to which Timms confessed, according to the complaint.
Timms remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $20,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in the Maple Grove case is scheduled Nov. 16 in Hennepin County District Court.