Crime briefs from the UnionHerald for the week of Aug. 8

Man sentenced for stealing van from Anoka business

A Minneapolis man was sentenced July 30 in Anoka County District Court on a felony motor vehicle theft charge.

Austin Manuel Fischer, 35, received a sentence of 113 days in jail, but was given credit for 35 days. He also got five years probation and was fined $135, although $50 could be erased with completion of community service.

Fischer pled guilty June 9. Another felony charge of fleeing police in a motor vehicle was dismissed at sentencing July 30.

According to the criminal complaint, the Anoka Police Department 11:52 a.m. May 6 received a report that a Pierce Refrigeration van had been stolen from this Anoka business’ parking lot. Surveillance video footage showed a man near this van at 11:15 a.m. He appeared to be in his 30s and wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey jersey.

An Anoka police officer spotted the van heading east on Highway 10 near Seventh Avenue. A chase ensued that went east on Highway 10 through Coon Rapids and into Blaine. Fischer ran two red lights on Central Avenue while driving south before a Spring Lake Park police officer used a pit maneuver to run the van off the road near the Central and 81st avenues intersection.

The person driving the vehicle was wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey jersey, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

Coon Rapids man facing aggravated robbery charges

A Coon Rapids man is facing two felony counts of aggravated robbery in the first degree in a case that also involved three juveniles.

Jason Edwin Johnson, 21, was arraigned July 18 in Anoka County District Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Coon Rapids police were watching a skateboard park in the 1000 block of Northdale Boulevard when at 3:26 p.m. July 17 they overheard a conversation that sounded like a drug deal was about to happen.

Authorities observed four males come to the park and get in a fight. When officers went over, they scattered and one threw something in a hockey rink that police discovered were two bags with marijuana.

All four were arrested, including Johnson, two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy. A 17-year-old boy had received what was described in the complaint as “a slicing knife wound on his side.”

In talking with the juveniles involved in the fight, Coon Rapids police found that one of the juveniles had set up a drug sale at the skateboard park, but the buyers had brought no money and intended to rob the seller, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, one of the juveniles accused Johnson of pulling out a knife during the fight. Johnson allegedly told police he did pull out the knife, but denied intentionally cutting anyone.

~ Eric Hagen

Ramsey woman charged for falsifying tax returns

A Ramsey woman is being accused of filing false tax returns that resulted in her collecting $27,309 more than she should have received from the state of Minnesota.

Sea Thor Vang, 33, was arraigned July 24 in Anoka County District Court on four felony counts of filing fraudulent tax returns.

This case was researched by an agent with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. According to the complaint, Vang filed joint tax returns with her husband for the tax years of 2008 through 2011, but the investigation cleared the husband of any wrongdoing.

Vang allegedly admitted to the Department of Revenue agent that she overstated their withholdings on her and her husband’s W-2 income forms so they would get a bigger refund back.

~ Eric Hagen

Man sentenced for cashing fraudulent check at Blaine business

A 50-year-old man was sentenced July 10 in Anoka County District Court on a felony charge of check forgery.

According to the criminal complaint, Alan Ray Rick Oct. 12, 2013, stopped at Al’s Check Cashing, a Blaine business, and cashed a check in the amount of $1,462.11 that had allegedly come from the Green Dot Corporation.

When he stopped in two days later to cash a check from the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Faribault in the amount of $944.06, an Al’s Check Cashing employee became suspicious when seeing that he had cashed the large checked two days prior. When the employee refused to cash this second check, Rick left the business, according to the complaint.

The employee called the Green Dot Corporation and Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault and learned that neither had written out a check to Rick.

Rick pled guilty to the felony charge of check forgery April 15. He was sentenced July 10 to one year and one day in jail, but was given credit for time already served. His sentence expires Oct. 21, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

He was ordered to pay $1,462.11 restitution to Al’s Check Cashing.

~ Eric Hagen

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