They had her. And they let her go.
A St. Paul woman suspected of robbing a TCF Bank branch inside a Blaine grocery store was placed in detox south of the metro area that same evening, only to be let go, according to charges.
Shawna M. Pearson, 35, was charged by warrant Monday in Anoka County District Court with holding up the bank late on the afternoon of Oct. 23, then fleeing with a getaway driver in her van.
The teller inside the Cub Foods at 12595 Central Av. said the woman never said a word, opened her eyes wide and gave him a note demanding money, according to the criminal complaint.
Her eyes widened even more as the teller gave her more than $2,700 and an anti-theft dye pack, the charges added.
According to the complaint and police in Blaine and Cannon Falls:
Blaine police, having released to the public a clear surveillance image of the woman at the bank counter, acted on tips the day after the robbery and went to Pearson’s home on the 1000 block of Van Dyke Street on St. Paul’s East Side. Neighbors reported that Pearson had said she had to get out of town and left.
About five hours after the holdup and 56 miles south of the bank, in Cannon Falls, the van drove along a path in the Riverside Terrace mobile home park, went out the back of the property and got stuck in a ravine. The tow truck operator suspected the van’s driver had been drinking and notified police.
Pearson and the driver, a 49-year-old St. Paul man, were both intoxicated, and the van was impounded, authorities said. The two were taken to a detox facility, then released before officials in Cannon Falls knew they were wanted in Blaine.
Both remain fugitives, the van is still in the impound lot and the loot has not been located.
A citizen in the Cannon Falls area, having heard about the robbery, called police and said that the woman who was in the van crash could be responsible for the heist in Blaine. On Sunday, Cannon Falls police revealed to Blaine investigators their encounter with Pearson.
Pearson has a criminal history in Minnesota that includes convictions for theft, fifth-degree assault, domestic assault, trespassing, disorderly conduct and property damage.