If only the burglary suspects had “butt-dialed” a different number. Or simply left the cellphone at home.
Then maybe they wouldn’t have tipped off the cops and landed behind bars.
But when one of them accidentally dialed a 911 dispatcher in the wee hours of an April Fools’ Day burglary, their fate was pretty much sealed, police say.
Now, Justin G. Evans, 38, of Savage, and Todd J. Weiss, 32, of Minnetonka, are facing third-degree burglary charges in the botched break-in.
Their troubles started around 4:45 a.m. April 1 when a Ramsey County dispatcher received a 911 call hang-up and then a call back from the same number, Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said Tuesday. The dispatcher heard voices on the other end saying, “If it goes off they are right across the street,” according to charges.
Schnell said it appears one of the suspects inadvertently used the emergency call option on his cellphone, tipping the discerning dispatcher to a burglary in progress. The dispatcher then directed police to 1990 County Road D in Maplewood, the location of Larsen’s Auto/Meineke Car Care, where the cops say they caught the men, with the help of police dogs, after they tried to carry a TV and a box from the building.
Although Weiss didn’t talk to police and Evans repeatedly said he didn’t do anything, police later found that a door to the shop had been pried open. The owner said that several items had been stolen.
“Certainly there have been circumstances when [thieves] have done things like leave evidence behind,” Schnell said Tuesday. “But to call 911 yourself, that’s unusual.”
Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495