UnionHerald Crime Briefs for March 17

Business hit by burglary

The Ameriprise Financial office at 3200 Main St. NW, Coon Rapids, was struck by burglars the weekend of Feb. 25-27.

The burglary was discovered at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 27 with entry made through an unlocked door to the business, according to the Coon Rapids Police report.

Tools were used to gain access to a back office and locked case in the office, from which several items, including $5,000 in cash, were taken, the police report states.

~ Peter Bodley

Woman sentenced for shoplifting

A 28-year-old woman who fought with a store security guard after shoplifting was sentenced Feb. 28 in Anoka County District Court.

Ashley Nicole Vasseur, of Otsego, was sentenced on a felony theft charge to 135 days in jail but was given credit for 55 days served.

According to the criminal complaint, Vasseur took 12 items worth $365 from a JCPenney store in Coon Rapids on Jan. 21, 2016.

After the shoplifter stuffed the items in her purse and walked out the door, a store security guard caught up and told her to come back inside. When she refused to come inside, he grabbed her arm and told her the police were on their way. She punched him in the left eye, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

Man charged for threating behavior

An Anoka man accused of trapping another man and woman in a Coon Rapids apartment while armed with a knife was arraigned March 9 in Anoka County District Court.

Daniel Lee Sohr, 27, is facing felony charges of second-degree assault, threats of violence and false imprisonment as well as a gross misdemeanor of third-degree damage to property.

According to the criminal complaint, Coon Rapids police responded to an apartment building off Tulip Street on March 2. They found a shirtless man covered in blood sitting on top of a screaming woman in the front passenger seat of a car. Officers put the man, Sohr, in their squad car and recovered a knife.

The woman told police that Sohr had been in her apartment earlier that morning and began making strange comments. She was concerned he was having a psychotic episode. She went into the bathroom, and Sohr allegedly followed and told her he would kill her and her male roommate. The roommate tried to get her out of the bathroom, but Sohr grabbed both of them by the neck and would not let them leave, according to the complaint.

They eventually got out of the bathroom, but Sohr stood in front of the apartment’s front door to prevent them from escaping. The woman, who knows Sohr, got into the hallway and saw he had a knife. She tried to grab it, but she was unable to get it and got cuts on her hand. Sohr then cut himself open on the chest while telling her he was going to kill her and they were going to die, according to the complaint.

The man and woman were able to escape to the parking lot. She climbed into a vehicle and Sohr got in before she could lock the door. Armed with a knife, he straddled her so she could not get away. She was able to knock the knife away and law enforcement arrived shortly after that, according to the complaint.

Both victims told police they were extremely fearful throughout the incident and felt like they were hostages inside their apartment, according to the complaint.

While in the back of the squad car, Sohr kicked at the back window and shattered it. Paramedics had to administer a sedative to calm him down before he was taken to the hospital.

~ Eric Hagen

Man sentenced for thefts

A 20-year-old man who tried to break into a Coon Rapids home and also was caught in Blaine with stolen items was sentenced in Anoka County District Court.

Blaine police officers on Nov. 1, 2016, were called to a park where a man was sleeping. Matthew Jacob Allen, of Minneapolis, had large amounts of stolen jewelry on him. They also located a stolen safe on a path in this park. Separate burglary calls had been reported in the neighborhood earlier this day, according to the criminal complaint.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 17, a Coon Rapids woman called 911 and said a man was trying to break into her home. She told Coon Rapids police officers that she saw a shadow of someone looking through the window of her laundry room. She turned on the light and the person ran away.

The woman’s husband followed fresh footprints in the snow and found Allen going through a neighbor’s car. Allen said it was his car. When the husband told Allen what happened and started to walk away, Allen started to follow him and asked to come inside to use his phone. Allen was given a cellphone to use instead of being allowed inside, and police arrived about this time, according to the complaint.

Allen was sentenced on two felony charges of second-degree burglary and attempted burglary in the second degree. He must pay restitution of $460. His sentence was for 232 days, but he was given credit for 52 days.

~ Eric Hagen

Accused shoplifter charged

An East Bethel man is being charged for allegedly shoplifting from Wal-Mart.

Jason Lee Balthazor, 35, was arraigned March 10 in Anoka County District Court on a felony theft charge.

According to the criminal complaint, Balthazor put 24 items valued at more than $800 into a shopping cart and left the Andover Wal-Mart store without paying. Store employees recognized him as a suspect of theft from nearby Wal-Mart stores.

The charge was elevated to felony level because Balthazor was convicted of a felony charge of theft by swindle in Anoka County on Oct. 21, 2016.

~ Eric Hagen

Woman charged for meth possession

A 36-year-old woman was arraigned March 10 in Anoka County District Court for alleged possession of narcotics.

Marisa Lee Dunham, of Fridley, was charged with felony second-degree possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor for having a hypodermic needle.

According to the criminal complaint, an Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputy found three hypodermic needles and 26.9 grams of meth in Dunham’s car the morning of March 9. She was stopped because she had an object hanging from her rear-view mirror, but the complaint states that she was leaving an Oak Grove home where there had been other arrests for narcotics activity.

~ Eric Hagen

Theft Target store leads to charges

Two people accused of stealing from a Target store in Coon Rapids have been charged by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

Blaine resident Frances Jean Hansen and Minneapolis resident Hieu Duc Nguyen, both 31 years old, were charged on March 8. Both face felony theft charges, but Nguyen is facing two additional felonies of fleeing police in a motor vehicle and first-degree criminal damage to property.

According to the criminal complaint, a Target security guard at the store at 8600 Springbrook Drive NW in Coon Rapids called the police to report suspicious shoppers. Hansen and Nguyen were allegedly putting high-dollar electronics into carts, and the loss prevention officer recognized them from previous thefts.

Hansen and Nguyen allegedly cut security tags off or removed merchandise from locked peg hooks and put the stolen goods into a tan shoulder bag before walking out of the store. The value of these products totaled more than $1,500, according to the complaint.

A Coon Rapids police officer stopped them as they were driving away, but Nguyen sped away after the officer walked up to their car. The vehicle traveled at speeds between 60 and 80 mph before coming to a dead end in a cul-de-sac. Two Coon Rapids officers rammed into the car to try to get it to fully stop, but Nguyen drove away.

The Nissan Pathfinder officers chased is registered to Nguyen. Coon Rapids officers who pursued the vehicle identified him as the driver and Hanson as his accomplice, according to the complaint.

~ Eric Hagen

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