UnionHerald crime briefs for the edition of May 9, 2014

Andover man sentenced for felony damage to property

An Andover man was sentenced April 30 in Anoka County District Court on a felony first-degree criminal damage to property charge.

Anoka County District Court Judge Dyanna Street sentenced Vang Tiet Luu, 40, to 30 days in jail with three days credited, placed him on five years of probation and issued a $285 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities were called to an Anoka home in the 14200 block of Woodbine Street Northwest just before 6 p.m. Aug. 3. A then 34-year-old woman was cut in the face and legs by glass after Luu smashed a vehicle window with a baseball bat.

~ Eric Hagen

Electronic device to defeat security recovered from shoplifter

A 36-year-old woman is being accused in Anoka County District Court of possessing an electronic device that allowed her to leave a Coon Rapids Target store with stolen merchandise without setting off the electronic security towers.

Crystal Amber Martin, Ramsey, faces a felony charge of possession of shoplifting gear, and a gross misdemeanor theft charge. She was arraigned April 24 and will make her next court appearance May 22.

According to the criminal complaint, a loss prevention employee at Target in Coon Rapids called police April 22 at 8:03 p.m. to report a shoplifter. The employee told police that they witnessed Martin on surveillance video leave the store with a shopping cart of $681.61 worth of merchandise that she had not paid for.

A Coon Rapids officer searched a large black purse that Martin had brought in while shopping. It allegedly contained a cell phone and a small rectangular electronic device that the officer recognized as an instrument designed to erase or defeat magnetized security tags so that electronic security towers are not set off.

In a post-Miranda statement, Martin said the device had been given to her by a girlfriend and she knew it was illegal to posses the item.

~ Eric Hagen

Man pleads guilty to felony charge in domestic assault

A Coon Rapids man has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to a felony charge in the wake of a domestic assault at a Coon Rapids motel.

Christian Joseph Cody, 31, will be sentenced May 8 following his guilty plea to a felony domestic assault by strangulation charge last month. A misdemeanor domestic assault count will be dismissed.

He was released on his own recognizance, but a no contact order remains in effect.

The morning of Feb. 4, Coon Rapids Police responded to an assault report at InnTown Suites, 420 Coon Rapids Blvd., where a woman stated that an argument with her boyfriend, Cody, turned violent.

According to the complaint, Cody held the woman down by the throat and punched in the head several times, then used both his hands to choke her, impeding her airway for several seconds.

Police saw and photographed abrasions on the woman’s neck and chest, as well as swelling on her left wrist.

Cody had left the motel by the time police arrived and he could not be located, so a warrant was issued for his arrest Feb. 6. He was arrested and made his first court appearance Feb. 7.

~ Peter Bodley

Plea agreement eliminates felony burglary charge

A Coon Rapids man, accused in Anoka County District Court of breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend and assaulting her, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count after originally being charged with a felony.

In a plea agreement April 15, Antwan Eugene Gill, 24, entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor domestic assault. He had been arraigned on a felony first-degree burglary charge Nov. 27, 2013.

The court placed Gill on probation for two years and stayed a 90-day jail sentence. He was ordered to pay $135 in a fine and fees, undergo domestic abuse counseling and treatment, have no same or similar offenses and no use of mood-altering chemicals or alcohol.

The early morning hours of Nov. 24, 2013, Coon Rapids Police responded to a 911 call from a Grouse Street residence where a woman reported that Gill, her ex-boyfriend, had broken into her home, assaulted her and then fled, according to the complaint.

The woman told police that she and Gill had not been together for over a year and he had never lived at her home, but Nov. 24 she was awakened to the sound of banging on the front door, then saw Gill standing over her as she lay in bed.

Gill struck her and she showed signs of injury to her head and arm, the complaint states.

Police found the front door to the residence was heavily damaged.

The woman’s 7-month-old child, whose father is Gill, was sleeping next to her during the incident, according to the complaint.

~ Peter Bodley

Man sentenced for Andover domestic incident

A 37-year-old man was sentenced April 23 in Anoka County District Court on a felony threats charge stemming from an Aug. 31 incident in Andover.

Thomas James Pierce, of Minneapolis, March 10 pled guilty to this charge. A felony first-degree burglary charge and misdemeanor domestic assault charge were dismissed at sentencing. Terroristic threats is usually a felony charge, but in this instance it was downgraded to a gross misdemeanor at sentencing.

Pierce was sentenced to 21 days in jail. The remainder of a 365-day term was stayed for two years in favor of probation, according to court records. He was also fined $485.

According to the criminal complaint, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a burglary in progress report at a home on 138th Avenue at 11:35 p.m. Aug. 31, 2013.

A 26-year-old woman accused Pierce of sending her threatening text messages about losing custody of their 1-year-old child. She told police he had become angry at her for drawing attention to the Minneapolis Hells Angels motorcycle gang clubhouse where he is a member, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the woman told police that Pierce kicked open her door, breaking the security chain and yelled, “I’m going to kick your teeth down your throat.”

According to the complaint, the sheriff’s office detectives saw several threatening text messages from Pierce on the woman’s cell phone and they took pictures of the broken security chain.

In a post-Miranda statement, Pierce said he was supposed to have visitation with his daughter. When she did not answer after he knocked, he said he used the key to open the door and had no idea why the police were called, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

Two men linked to Ham Lake burglaries charged

Two 19-year-old men were arraigned the last week of April in Anoka County District Court on felony burglary charges.

Charles Keith Kohn, of Ham Lake, is facing five felony charges for his alleged involvement in multiple burglaries and thefts from vehicles in Ham Lake between May 23 and June 1 of 2013. He was arraigned April 28 on one count of second-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree burglary, and one count of felony theft. He will make his next court appearance May 28.

Alexander David Westerso, Duluth, is facing one count of second-degree burglary. He was arraigned April 29 and will make his next court appearance May 29.

The only crime Westerso was specifically linked to in the criminal complaint was stealing a Sony Playstation 3, an iPod and CD player docking station and numerous Coach-brand bags.

Although no other cases were mentioned, the criminal complaint filed against Westerso said he was one of two suspects, besides Kohn, believed to have been involved in the burglaries and thefts from vehicles in Ham Lake.

The criminal complaint in Kohn’s case listed five incidents. Stolen property included two ATVs, an orbital sander, corded drill, hedge trimmers, chainsaw, eight $50 Cabela’s gift cards, an iPod, three GPS units and a Canon camera with two zoom lenses.

~ Eric Hagen

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