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Suspected window smasher charged after complaining of "tainted" cigarettes

Posted by: under Local business, Public safety Updated: July 18, 2012 - 4:31 PM

A 26-year-old Minneapolis man suspected of smashing the windows at two businesses on 36th Street and Bryant Avenue has been charged.

Matthew A. Christenson allegedly used a mallet to strike the windows at Kyle's Market approximately 30 times in the early morning on June 12, according to a criminal complaint made public Friday.

The owner said that the windows at his other business, Calhoun Pet Supply, which is located across the street, also was damaged. The owner said both places had been targets of vandalism and graffiti several times during the year, according to the complaint.

The day of the break-in after the store opened for business, Christenson spoke with an employee about the freshness of cigarettes he had purchased, according to the complaint. A few days before, the owner had received a call from someone identifying himself as "Matt" who told him to meet at a park. The man said he was calling about the store's “Newport 100s” and had said “this is why your store is all messed up, because you are selling poison cigarettes.” Later that same day, Christenson went to the police to report that he had obtained tainted cigarettes from Kyle's Market.

Last Wednesday, police went to Christenson's apartment, which is located about a block from Kyle’s Market, and Christenson again told officers he believed cigarettes he had purchased were tampered with. He also said he had received a pizza that he believed was tainted. He didn't take his medication for his bipolar disorder because he believed that the medication was tainted too.

When police searched Christenson's apartment, they found a large mallet with a metal head. The wooden handle of the mallet had several gouges and "what appeared to be glass fragments," according to the complaint. Police also found a hand towel with masking tape fragments on its corners, which police said appeared similar to the mask worn by the suspect in the break-in video. In addition, officers discovered a large box with packages of unopened cigarettes, mostly Newport 100s, and a notebook that described the  poisoning Christenson claimed to experience.  Police also found clothes that seemed to match what Christenson reportedly had worn when he spoke to the store employee.

Christenson has been charged with first degree property damage.

 

 

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