A man originally charged in Anoka County District Court in connection with the robbery at the Payless Shoe Source store in Coon Rapids Jan. 5 pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis June 21 to a federal indictment for that crime.
Peter Christopher Nunn, 42, Fridley, entered guilty pleas in federal court to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery for not only the Coon Rapids store robbery but also another robbery committed at a shoe store in Shakopee Jan. 7.
According to a press release from Jeanne F. Cooney, director of community relations, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nunn had been indicted by a federal grand jury Feb. 5 under the Hobbs Act.
The Hobbs Act, which was passed by Congress in 1946, allows federal prosecutors to prosecute violent habitual criminals who commit armed robberies in places of business that involve interstate commerce, Cooney stated in the press release.
No date has been set for Nunn’s sentencing in federal court, but he faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count.
The Anoka County Attorney’s Office had filed two aggravated robbery charges against Nunn Jan. 10 for the Payless robbery and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Nunn, who was in the Scott County Jail at the time after being charged with the armed robbery of a Famous Footwear store in Shakopee Jan. 7.
Nunn never made an appearance in district court after the U.S. Attorney’s Office took over jurisdiction of the two cases.
According to the complaint filed in Anoka County District Court, the evening of Jan. 5, police responded to a robbery report from the Payless store, 8510 Springbrook Dr., to find two employees inside a bathroom which had been barricaded by a cart preventing them from opening the door.
The store manager told police that she and a fellow employee were working together when a black male walked in, pulled out a gun so they could see it, then tucked it back into his pocket, telling both women to empty the cash register.
The manager was told to open the safe, put the bank bag inside into a plastic Payless bag and the women had to go in the bathroom and lock the door, which he barricaded. Some $300 was stolen from the store.
When they heard door dinger go off, the manager hit multiple holdup alarms located on her person and the bathroom wall. Both women gave a description of the suspect to police.
Jan. 7, Coon Rapids Police were contacted by Shakopee Police Department about a similar robbery in that city which resulted in the arrest of a black male with a gun following a pursuit involving multiple law enforcement agencies.
Inside the man’s vehicle, police located a receipt for the purchase of an air-soft type gun and the original store from the Walmart at 8450 University Ave. NE, Fridley, which is located about .3 miles from the Coon Rapids Payless store, according to the complaint.
A composite picture of the Payless suspect was sent to the Shakopee Police and a detective investigating its robbery alleged the composite looked extremely similar to the person Shakopee had in custody, who had been identified as Nunn.
A six-person photo line-up including Nunn was shown to the two Payless employees, who independently picked out Nunn as the Payless robber.
According to court records, Nunn has served prison time for multiple prior aggravated robbery convictions.
In 1996, he pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery plus a charge of felony second-degree assault in Dakota County and was sent to prison for 94 months.
In 2001, he received a 60-month prison sentence, but was given credit for time served, on an attempted aggravated robbery guilty plea in Hennepin County.
Then in 2003, Nunn entered guilty pleas to three first-degree aggravated robbery charges in Hennepin County for which he received three 48-month prison sentences as well as one count of first-degree aggravated robbery in Dakota County, for which he was given another 48-month prison term, which was to be served consecutively to the Hennepin County sentence, according to court records.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]