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Thursday, March 30, 2023

St. Paul Man Sentenced for Catalytic Converter Theft in St. Anthony Park That Ended in Shooting

A 19-year-old man was sentenced for his part in an attempted robbery of a catalytic converter at a shop in St. Paul, where his accused accomplice shot a man who interrupted them.

A two-year jail sentence for Eh Ler Pweh of St. Paul in relation to the Feb. 21 incident in the city’s St. Anthony Park area was postponed last week by Ramsey County District Judge David Brown. Pweh was sentenced to three years of probation as part of a plea deal for first-degree attempted aggravated robbery; a second count was dropped.

Pweh was also given a sentence of 70 days in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility, which he had already served by spending time in jail upon his arrest.

There are two counts of first-degree attempted aggravated robbery as well as second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and serious bodily injury against Kaw Bleh Htoo, the person who investigators claim shot the 51-year-old male. The accusations against Htoo, 22, of St. Paul, are set to be heard again in court on August 8.

According to accusations, Pweh was in possession of a pistol with a changed serial number when he was apprehended on February 23 after driving and abandoning a stolen vehicle. In one case, Judge Brown last week postponed a year-long jail term for receiving stolen items. Pweh was sentenced to three years of probation, which she will do in conjunction with her time behind bars for the attempted robbery.

Around 3:40 p.m., police were summoned to the establishment at 2350 Territorial Road on a complaint of a gunshot and an attempted theft. As the victim, who had been wounded in the buttocks, was being placed into an ambulance, officers spoke with him.

He informed the police that when he was inside his workplace, he noticed a black Toyota Scion automobile parked next to a Toyota Tundra pickup vehicle belonging to a colleague. Although the parking lot is calm, he claimed that catalytic converter thefts had happened there in the past.

He said that when he proceeded to the parking lot to look around, he noticed someone beneath the truck and in the driver’s seat of the automobile. He claimed that when he heard a sawing sound and seen legs sticking out, he cried, “Stop that!” while placing his foot on one of the legs.

He claimed to have been shot after hearing a gunshot. He tripped and crawled back to the place of business, where staff members assisted him until the cops showed there.

According to authorities, surveillance footage from the establishment demonstrates the occurrence exactly as the man had said. The injured victim was laying in the parking lot as the two suspects fled the scene in the automobile.

Officers on patrol along Rice and Front streets two days later noticed a vehicle that matched the Scion. On Sylvan Street, it struck a snowbank after running a red signal. Three men ran off on foot.

Pweh, who was driving, and three other men were taken into custody after an officer chase. In the vicinity of where Pweh was arrested, a black 9mm semi-automatic pistol was discovered. The magazine of the gun was missing, and the serial number had been wiped out.

On February 2, the vehicle had been reported stolen from Forest Street in St. Paul.

Pweh admitted during an interview that the serial number had already been wiped out when he purchased the firearm. According to the complaint, he acknowledged trying to take the catalytic converter but refused to identify the shooter. Pweh claimed to be aware of the car’s theft.

According to the complaint, when investigators used a search warrant to access Pweh’s cellphone, they discovered text conversations between Pweh and Htoo that made reference to “cutting.” Additionally, the location of Htoo’s cell phone at the time of the shooting was determined.

According to the complaint, Htoo complimented Pweh for withholding any information from the police during a phone conversation from the jail.

On May 25, Htoo was taken into custody at a house on Bush Avenue in St. Paul. Currently, he was wanted by Dakota County.

Htoo originally denied being involved in the shooting during a police questioning. He acknowledged being the shooter when confronted with the proof and enquired as to how long the man had been looking, according to the complaint. He said it was an accident and that the bigger victim, who was kicking Pweh while he was under the car, had terrified him.

The victim of the gunshot had a shattered pelvis, and the investigators discovered that she would be unable to walk for at least six weeks.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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