Crime Briefs for the Life

Man switched UPC labels to get lower prices

A Spring Lake Park man who stole almost $6,400 of merchandise from a Blaine Fleet Farm store was sentenced Feb. 16 in Anoka County District Court.

Eric Dustin Hutchison was sentenced to 17 months in prison, but given credit for 163 days for a conviction of felony-level theft.

But Hutchison will be in prison even longer because this new case resulted in him violating terms of his probation for a 2007 Anoka County case in which he was sentenced on a felony charge of first-degree drug possession.

According to Minnesota Department of Corrections records, Hutchison will be incarcerated until Jan. 4, 2022.

A Blaine Police Department investigation revealed that Hutchison switched the UPC pricing bar codes on products so that he would pay a lower price. Between Oct. 13, 2015 and Jan. 23, 2016, Hutchison bought 23 items for lower prices.

The first time he did this on Oct. 13, 2015, Hutchison bought a Fahrenheat 7500 Watt Heating Unit for $30. The actual retail price was $465.

In addition, Fleet Farm found that Hutchison got cash from the store for returning five items that Fleet Farm does not sell. The store clerks did not know these five products had not been purchased from their store because he had placed UPC labels on the products that identified it as Fleet Farm merchandise.

~ Eric Hagen

Charges filed in Wal-Mart shoplifting case

Two Blaine residents are being accused of shoplifting about $2,000 worth of merchandise from a Blaine Wal-Mart.

Bruce Kraimer, 36, and Regina Kraimer, 33, were arraigned Feb. 16 in Anoka County District Court. Both were charged with one count of felony theft. Bruce Kraimer also was charged with a misdemeanor for violating a domestic abuse order for protection.

According to the criminal complaint, Wal-Mart employees and an off-duty Blaine police officer on Feb. 15 spotted the Kraimers loading two shopping carts full of merchandise and walk out the store without paying.

Responding Blaine officers were able to quickly apprehend the suspects as they left the store.

Further investigation revealed that an existing order for protection prevented Bruce Kraimer from having contact with Regina Kraimer, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

Man charged for stealing from Wal-Mart

A 35-year-old man is being accused of stealing about $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Blaine Wal-Mart on three separate occasions.

Roy Scott Maverick Felty, of Circle Pines, was arraigned Feb. 17 in Anoka County District Court on two felony charges of simple robbery and theft.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged thefts occurred on Dec. 15 and Dec. 28 in 2016 and most recently on Feb. 1. Video surveillance showed Felty fill up carts with merchandise and walk out of the store.

Blaine police did a photo line-up and the store’s loss prevention officer identified Felty as the suspect, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

Alleged motorcycle thief charged

A 27-year-old man accused of stealing a motorcycle and fleeing police was arraigned Feb. 22 in Anoka County District Court.

Patrick Thomas Schulz, of Rogers, was charged with two felonies of motor vehicle theft and fleeing police and a misdemeanor of fleeing police on foot.

According to the criminal complaint, Schulz on Feb. 20 fled from an Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputy at speeds in excess of 100 mph as he drove from Ham Lake into Blaine. The deputy lost sight of the motorcycle, but a Blaine police officer was able to find Schulz and continued the chase for about one more mile before Schulz stopped and tried to run away. He was taken into custody after a short pursuit on foot.

There was no key in the ignition of the motorcycle and it appeared someone had tampered with the wiring. The owner of the motorcycle – a Ham Lake man – confirmed with authorities that it was his motorcycle that was stolen from his garage.

~ Eric Hagen

Former Habitat for Humanity contractor sees charges dismissed

A case against a former Habitat for Humanity contractor was settled and subsequently dismissed in Anoka County District Court Jan. 31.

Chad Michael Formo, 40, of Albertville, was charged with financial transaction card fraud, a felony, June 20, 2016.

According to the criminal complaint, Formo received a Menards credit card from Habitat for Humanity to make certain purchases while working for the company. After his employment was terminated in July 2015, Habitat for Humanity found multiple unauthorized transactions totaling more than $2,200 in August and September 2015.

In surveillance video obtained from Blaine and Coon Rapids Menards stores, a man other than Formo was seen making purchases with the credit card, but the man told law enforcement he had been in contact with Formo, the complaint states.

Formo pleaded not guilty in September 2016, and the charge was dismissed four months later.

~ Olivia Alveshere

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