are investigating a home invasion reported late last month in which a suspect allegedly used pepper spray on the homeowner before fleeing with two others.
According to a police report, the incident occurred on Jan. 27 at around 10 a.m. in the 8700 block of West 35th Street. The 28-year-old male homeowner said he and his girlfriend were in the house when they heard a loud pounding on the front door. The man said he then saw several people enter his home, at which point he told his girlfriend to stay put, closed the bedroom door behind him, and went to another room down the hall.
The man said he saw one suspect walk down a hallway past the room with what appeared to be a gun at his waist. The homeowner said he grabbed at the gun — which he later said he believed was fake — and wrestled with the suspect. The man said he was then sprayed with pepper spray, and the suspects fled.
The homeowner said he tried to chase after them, but he had trouble breathing and seeing because of the spray. He used snow to clear his eyes somewhat. Police later found fresh footprints in the area heading south on Aquila Avenue.
Inside the home, officers smelled a strong odor of pepper spray and noted residue on the wall.
The 28-year-old man said there were three suspects, though he only got a decent look at the one he briefly struggled with. He said that man was black, about 5-feet, 10-inches tall, 160 pounds, and wearing a mask and a dark, hooded sweatshirt.
According to the report, the suspects took a set of keys to the man’s home and vehicle before fleeing. Officers did stop a group of white males later that day that all had masks on, but the homeowner said they did not match the people inside his home. A neighbor also saw three masked individuals walk by his window that day, but he wasn’t able to clearly identify any of them.
No arrests have been made in the case, and police are still investigating.
Here are other recent cases of note in St. Louis Park. All the incidents were included in the police department’s most recent weekly report, sent out Feb. 3. Specific details come from individual incident reports maintained by the department.
Jan. 22- Police were called to the Bennigan’s Restaurant building at 6745 Wayzata Boulevard on a reported burglary. A real estate agent said outside doors had been tampered with, and several brass fixtures had been cut out and removed from inside the building, which has been vacant for more than two years. Police recovered an extension cord, a glove and a flashlight from the building, and were also able to collect fingerprints. However, no suspects have been identified.
Jan. 24- Police were called to the construction site outside on a theft report. The site foreman said roughly $500 worth of metal had been taken overnight. Because of the weight of the stolen metal, he said there was likely one suspect who had cut the pieces on-site, or possibly several people involved. No suspects have been identified.
Jan. 26- Police were called to the T-Mobile store at 4724 Excelsior Boulevard after several women reportedly stole cell phones and fled. Staff members said four, younger black women, all roughly 5-feet, 5-inches tall with small to average builds, and wearing black jackets, ripped the phones from display cases before running off. In all, five phones worth a combined $2,230 were taken. A T-Mobile store in Uptown reported a similar incident shortly before the St. Louis Park theft, and police believe the same women could have been involved. Authorities are reviewing surveillance footage.
Jan. 28- Police were called to the 7000 block of Lake Street after a construction worker reported that a snowplow had been stolen from the front of a truck. The worker said when he returned to the Lake Street lot after a shift, he noticed a lock on a back gate had been cut and the gate was open. Inside the lot, tire tracks led up to the truck missing the plow. There were also footprints in the area. The stolen plow is worth $4,300. No suspects have been identified.