UnionHerald crime briefs for Aug. 11, 2017

East Bethel man accused of sex crime

Thorin Karl Pederson, 21, of East Bethel, was arraigned on two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies, in Anoka County District Court July 18.

Three days earlier the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Pederson had inappropriate sexual contact with a 4-year-old child at the child’s home in Nowthen, according to the criminal complaint.

The child told his father that Pederson put his penis in the child’s buttocks when they were playing outside, the complaint states.

The child was examined and interviewed at Midwest Children’s Resource Center and said Pederson wanted to play doctor and inserted his penis in the child’s buttocks, according to the complaint.

Pederson was arrested at the child’s home, and Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly found him to be in possession of a bottle of lubricant.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Woman arrested after impersonating patient care assistant

A 29-year-old Columbia Heights woman was arraigned in Anoka County District Court July 21 for theft and attempted theft, both felonies.

A caller in the 10500 block of Jay Street in Coon Rapids called 911 to report a woman damaging mailboxes and driving a stolen vehicle around 4 p.m. July 18, according to the criminal complaint.

The caller later told police Stephanie Maria Ramirez knocked on her door and identified herself as a patient care assistant from the VA who was there to provide services for a man living in the residence. The woman was expecting someone from the VA, though not until the next day, so she let Ramirez inside, according to the criminal complaint.

Ramirez asked the man questions about where the keys to the Cadillac in the driveway were and spent a long time in the bathroom, heightening the woman’s suspicions, so she asked Ramirez to leave, the complaint states.

Driving a blue Ford Escape, Ramirez allegedly ran into two mailboxes backing out of the driveway, damaging one, according to the complaint.

The vehicle she was driving was reported stolen earlier July 18 out of Coon Rapids, and after being arrested, she said she stole the car and was in the process of stealing the Cadillac. The keys for the Cadillac were found in her possession when she was arrested, the complaint states.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Riding mowers stolen from outside store

Two riding mowers were reported stolen from outside the Coon Rapids Lowe’s store, 2700 Main St. NW, the night of July 26.

According to the Coon Rapids Police report, a male parked out of view of the store’s video surveillance camera then backed the vehicle and trailer to the area where the mowers were locked up at the front of the store.

The suspect took a large bolt cutter, cut the security chain, loaded the two mowers into the trailer and left, the police report states.

The male was wearing a black coat, gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The John Deere brand 25-horsepower riding mowers, one with a 54-inch deck and the other a 48-inch deck, were valued at $2,799 and $2,349, respectively, according to the police report.

~ Peter Bodley

Coon Rapids man faces felony theft charge

A Coon Rapids man, who has served prison time for prior felony theft convictions, faces a new charge in Anoka County District Court.

Robert Earl Walker, 52, was arraigned in court July 21 on a felony theft count. Bail was set at $20,000 and his next court appearance is Aug. 16.

Court records show that Walker was sent to prison on 2011 and 2012 felony theft of property convictions in Hennepin County District Court.

According to the new complaint, Coon Rapids Police were contacted by the loss prevention officer at Home Depot, 3550 124th Ave NW the early afternoon of July 20, who reported he saw a male suspect exit the store with a cart filled with power tools and a large vacuum without paying for them and recognized him from a prior theft in November 2016.

The suspect, identified as Walker, allegedly placed the power tools and vacuum into a white Cadillac, which left the parking lot eastbound on Northdale Boulevard.

The vehicle was spotted an officer who initiated a traffic stop at Northdale and Yukon Street NW, found Walker in the passenger seat and allegedly noticed one of the stolen items from Home Depot, the large vacuum, on the rear seat.

Walker had two active warrants for his arrest, according to the complaint.

~ Peter Bodley

Two charged with felonies following parking lot fight

Two men were charged in Anoka County District Court with felonies after Coon Rapids Police officers responded to a fight in a gas station parking lot on Coon Rapids Boulevard July 23.

Kevin Harris, 25, and Musa Aziz Diakite, 22, both of Brooklyn Park, were arraigned in court July 25 on felony second-degree assault and simply robbery charges, respectively.

Harris posted $1,000 bail with conditions July 26 and is scheduled back in court Aug. 7, while bail for Diakita was set at $10,000 with no conditions or $2,000 with conditions and he is due back in court Aug. 24.

According to the complaint, the night of July 23 police received a report of five to seven males fighting in the SuperAmerica parking lot and on arrival, learned that several vehicles had fled the scene, but two males still in the parking lot told police that an argument had occurred at a soccer game in Brooklyn Park when Harris accused one of the men of stealing a bottle of cologne, which he denied.

The two left Brooklyn Park in a vehicle and Harris allegedly followed them in his, driving erratically and colliding with their car multiple time before they pulled into SuperAmerica.

A friend of Harris, Diakite also arrived at SuperAmerica, entered the passenger side of the vehicle demanding the keys to take the vehicle, then allegedly grabbed a cell phone out of the hands of one of the men and fled in a vehicle.

While police were investigating, Harris returned to the parking lot, while police located the vehicle in which Diakite left a short distance away and recovered the cell phone.

According to the complaint, a witness told police he saw Diakite grab the cell phone.

~ Peter Bodley

Anoka man accused of threatening landlord

Joseph Michael Stromberg, 31, of Anoka, is accused of threatening his landlord with a gun July 20.

He was arraigned on a felony charge for threats of violence in Anoka County District Court July 21.

Anoka police responded to a residence on Pleasant Street on a report that a man was pointing a gun at a woman, according to the criminal complaint.

When police arrived, Stromberg exited the residence with hands in the air, the complaint states.

Stromberg’s landlord told police that he lived with her for about a month and was paying rent, but she confronted him July 20 because she believed he was stealing from her, according to the complaint.

Stromberg allegedly addressed her while holding a baseball bat in one hand and something silver the woman thought to be a gun in his right hand. She said Stromberg did not point the gun at her, but held it and told her that he was going to shoot her, the complaint states.

Stromberg told police he did not have a gun because he is not supposed to have one, and he said he grabbed the baseball bat in self defense because the woman came toward him with a knife, the complaint alleges.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Alleged Wal-Mart schemer arrested

Shafonuna Fay Johnson, 21, of Minneapolis, is charged with felony theft by swindle after allegedly posing as a Wal-Mart employee to secure gift cards at numerous Wal-Mart stores across Minnesota, according to the criminal complaint.

Johnson allegedly hit the Andover Wal-Mart June 19 wearing a Wal-Mart employee vest. She headed to the electronics department and convinced an employee that she was in training and needed help logging in with access codes, the complaint states.

After the employee logged in, an accomplice showed up to purchase four $500 gift cards, a total of $2,000. Instead of charging the accomplice, Johnson allegedly loaded the cards and then walked out without paying for them, according to the complaint.
Johnson previously worked at a Bloomington Wal-Mart and has “perpetuated this same scheme numerous times throughout Minnesota,” the complaint states.

She was arrested July 23 in Red Wing and was arraigned in Anoka County District Court July 28.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Andover woman charged with vehicle theft

Cami Anne Hollerbach, 26, of Andover, was arraigned on a felony theft charge in Anoka County District Court July 28 after allegedly stealing a car from Lino Lakes earlier in the month.

Coon Rapids police was patrolling the Wal-Mart parking lot July 26 when an officer noticed a vehicle with no license plates. A paper placard for Jackson Auto Sales was occupying the rear license plate holder with nothint in the front, the criminal complaint states.

The officer found a 21-day permit, but it was altered: The expiration date was covered with yellow paper and extended through Aug. 8, according to the complaint.

Additionally, the permit was for a 2013 Kia and the vehicle was a Chevrolet Trailblazer, the complaint states.

The VIN number revealed that the vehicle was stolen out of Prior Lake a week earlier, the complaint states.

Law enforcement watched as Hollerbach walked to the car and got into the driver’s seat. Questioned by police, she said she bought the vehicle two days ago from someone named Ronald Towers and did not know it was stolen, according to the complaint.

Hollerbach was arrested, and a search of her purse turned up the vehicle’s insurance card, a registration card showing the vehicle was purchased in September 2016 and a blank title showing the registered owner’s name, the complaint states.

Hollerbach allegedly told police a laundry basket full of clothes in the back was hers, and a search of the basket turned up one Alprazolam pill, the complaint alleges.

Hollerbach was also charged with a gross misdemeanor fifth-degree controlled substance crime.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Vandals hit Coon Rapids High School

Vandals climbed on to the roof of Coon Rapids High School, 2340 Northdale Blvd. NW, the night of July 28 and damaged air conditioning units, roof vent caps and air circulation units.

According to the Coon Rapids Police report, once on the roof the vandals forced four rooftop air conditioning units off their mounting pedestals, probably by kicking them, leaving three of them not working.

In addition, three rooftop vent caps were broken off, two air circulation units were missing their covers and all the removed covers had been thrown off the roof and sustained damage, the report states.

Video surveillance at the school showed two suspect gain access to the roof at 10:25 p.m. July 28 by climbing up pipes and the sawdust collector on the building and were later seen climbing down from the roof about 11:41 p.m.

Both appeared to be white males, approximately 16 to 19 years of age and wearing dark clothing, according to the complaint.

Preliminary damage estimate was well in excess of $1,000, the report states.

~ Peter Bodley

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