The days of livestock rustling aren’t over

South-West Review police reports Oct. 27, 2013

West St. Paul

-- As many as eight curtain rods were stolen from a fabric store on the 1800 block of Robert St. Oct. 21. The suspects were described as two women with a 7-year-old girl in tow; they fled in a maroon SUV before officers arrived.
-- Even thieves need lunch breaks: a woman called police from the 100 block of Carmel Ave. Oct. 16 to report that someone broken into her car overnight. The woman said the culprit had removed the stereo from her vehicle and left behind an empty McDonald’s bag.

-- An employee at Perkins called police during the late night shift to report a group of six “rambunctious” patrons throwing ice at each other. The employee said the group wasn’t aggressive and didn’t need to leave, but it would be helpful to have an officer around to “deter shenanigans.” The officer who responded to the call remained on hand through the dinner and concluded in his report: “Shenanigans were successfully deterred.”
-- Sometimes watching out for others is a thankless task: a woman called police from the 300 block of Annapolis St. seeking help to prevent her son’s friend from driving drunk. The caller said the 18-year-old girl was already in the car, crying and screaming because they would not give her the keys. An officer responded to the scene and stepped in as mandatory designated driver.

-- A customer at a Chinese buffet on the 1200 block of Robert St. called police Oct. 17 after a server allegedly spilled ice on her children. The woman told dispatch she’d already contacted her lawyer in Los Angeles and he advised her to get a copy of the restaurant’s surveillance footage of the incident; the restaurant manager said the copy would only be handed over with an officer present. According to the report, the children were not injured by the ice cubes.

Harassing communications
-- A woman called police from Marie Ave. Oct. 17 to report her 85-year-old neighbor was harassing her children as they were playing outside. An officer met with the neighbor, who said he was upset about the children playing catch in a communal parking area, which he insisted was against the community bylaws. The officer replied he was only authorized to enforce city code and not bylaws, and furthermore he didn’t see any harm in kids throwing a football around. The neighbor, however, steadfastly refused to stand idly by as the rules were trampled upon, and vowed to take the matter up with the police chief the next day.

Inver Grove Heights

Traffic stop
-- An officer pulled over a vehicle at Broderick Boulevard and Brooks Boulevard shortly after midnight Oct. 6 after the driver failed to yield before turning right at a red light. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noted a heavy odor of marijuana and confronted the driver about it. The driver denied he had any illicit drugs. When the officer explained he could plainly smell the substance and intended to search the vehicle, the driver suddenly remembered he had a baggie and a jar of weed, as well as two glass pipes. A search of the vehicle also turned up two one-hitters. The driver was cited for possession and paraphernalia and released at the scene.

-- Police responded to a report of an arm and a head protruding from a dumpster on the 3000 block of 65th St. Oct. 10. The responding officer located the dumpster and determined the arm and head were attached to a very-much alive and also very intoxicated 41-year-old man who decided it would be a good idea to spend the night in a dumpster. Between the intoxication and a language barrier, the officer was unable to determine the man’s home address, so he transported him to Ramsey County detox instead.

South St. Paul

Auto theft
-- Give a mouse a cookie, and apparently the mouse steals your car: a woman called police Oct. 21 to report her car was stolen. The caller said another woman owed her money, but they agreed the debt could be settled with a couple of bags of groceries. The debtor came over to the caller’s house with a male friend the night of Oct. 20, and the caller dozed off while they were over. When she awoke the next morning, there were no groceries and her vehicle was missing. The debtor has no listed address, but police are working to make contact with her by phone.

-- A woman called police Oct. 21 to report a vandalism incident in which a woman bashed in the window of her parked 1997 Chevy Blazer in Inver Grove Heights before fleeing with a man and another woman in a black 2000 Lincoln LS. The victim jumped into her Chevy and followed in hot pursuit. The chase took a detour through Kaposia Landing, where the victim managed to box the Lincoln into a parking spot for a moment. Allegedly, the man then exited the Lincoln and began punching the victim through her broken window, telling her to get out of the car. Once she moved the vehicle to evade his attacks, the women still in the Lincoln took off and promptly crashed at Butler Avenue and Concord St. While police were following up afterward, the man denied laying hands on the victim or even knowing who she was. When an officer shared her account of the man grabbing her sweatshirt and punching at her, he said he’d acted in self defense because she tried to run him over. When asked why he hadn’t mentioned this detail earlier, the man replied, “You never asked.” Given that he exhibited none of the injuries one might expect in someone who was nearly run over, officers cited the man with disorderly conduct and fifth-degree assault. The two female aggressors who crashed the car were taken to the hospital for evaluation, as both were pregnant.

-- Apparently livestock rustling is not quite a forgotten crime in South St. Paul: an owner of a meat-processing plant on Hardman Ave. called police Oct. 17 to report someone was stealing his animals. The man said the week before a group of four or five men cut through the plant’s perimeter fence after hours and led two pigs from an outside pen into the processing area, where they slaughtered them and left with the meat. The night before he placed the call, the owner said the group had apparently entered through the same hole in the fence, decapitated a cow and left with the body. So far surveillance footage has not yielded any leads.

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