A St. Paul city vehicle was stolen from a work site Monday, and when it was recovered, the city employee's sandwich was also missing.
Bana Nong, 31, whose residence is unknown, allegedly took the city-owned 2014 Ford Focus from Seventh and Wabasha streets, according to one count of motor vehicle theft filed against him Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.
According to the complaint: A city public works employee parked the car in the area so he could inspect a construction site. He left the car running and its orange strobe light activated. The employee was walking in front of the car when he heard a car door close.
"...he turned to see the Focus driving the wrong way down Wabasha Street," the complaint said.
The employee activated the car's global positioning system to help police trace its location.
Police stopped the Ford Focus on Selby Avenue near Mackubin Street and arrested Nong.
"[The city employee] recovered the car and indicated that a sandwich was missing from his lunch box and that the orange strobe light had been disabled and possibly broken," the complaint said.
Nong allegedly told police that he took the car, then said he didn't want to speak any more, ending the interview.
Nong was cited for theft in a September incident for allegedly stealing a $28.99 bottle of liquor from 1st Grand Avenue Liquors in St. Paul.
A St. Paul man stuffed burning mail into the mail slot of a local fire station and urinated on the front steps, according to charges filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.
Marc O. Norberg, 60, allegedly told police that he thought there was a vacuum space inside the station and wanted to see if a fire would be contained in it. Norberg is charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of attempted first-degree arson for the May 30 incident.
According to the complaint: St. Paul firefighters returned to their station at 860 Ashland Avenue about 4 a.m. that day. They had been on a call, and were gone for five minutes.
"Upon their return, they smelled smoke coming from the front entrance of the station," the complaint said. "When they went to check it out, they found a rug on fire just inside the front door."
The firefighters extinguished the flames and discovered Norberg stand outside by the front door.
"It appeared that Norberg had also urinated on the front steps leading to the door," the complaint said.
Police arrested Norberg, who was allegedly captured on in-squad video admitting to starting the fire.
In a police interview later that day, Norberg allegedly said he used his cigarette lighter to light some mail and then stuffed it through the fire station mail slot. Norberg told police he thought the fire station contained a vacuum space inside.
"He said he knocked on the door and rang the buzzer, and nobody came to the door," according to the complaint. "Later in the interview, in response to questions about whether he intended to hurt anybody by setting the fire, he said he wasn't trying to hurt anybody or burn the building down, but he was trying to get their attention. He believed there was someone in the building. When asked what he thought someone would be doing if they were in the building at 4:00 in the morning, he said, 'sleeping.' "
Norberg told police that he was on medication for a depressive condition, and had to leave his apartment nearby because the building was condemned.
A St. Paul woman stole a store owner's cell phone while he was helping a disabled customer, according to charges filed Wednesday.
Dasheron D. Sinclair, 22, allegedly high fived a friend after taking the phone from the owner of Chick N Chips on Rice Street. Sinclair is charged in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of misdemeanor theft.
According to the complaint: On June 15, Sinclair entered the store with a woman and two men. The group ordered food at the counter. Surviellance video showed that the store owner was helping a disabled customer near the front counter. The store owner placed his cell phone on the counter.
"The video further showed one of the females, Dasheron Dane Sinclair (DOB 10-02-92), the defendant herein, taking the cell phone from the counter, concealing it in her shirt, and exiting the store," the complaint said.
Sinclair high fived one of the men on the way out, according to the charges.
The store owner followed the women to Sinclair's home and called police. When she was quesitioned by police, Sinclair denied having the phone. She then allegedly said she sold the phone for $200. Sinclair was arrested and taken to the Ramsey County jail, where under futher questioning she denied stealing the phone.
A St. Paul man fired multiple gunshots Monday in a parking lot at Como Lake, using a bystander's car to steady one shot, according to charges filed Tuesday.
Matrix R. Lee, 50, fired at a fleeing motorist who he thought had broken into his car. He is charged in Ramsey County District Court with dangerous discharge of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm.
According to the complaint: Lee and his wife were sitting on a bench watching the ducks on the lake when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement near his vehicle. Lee's car was parked in the lot by Black Bear Crossing, and his wife's purse was on the front seat in plain view.
Lee saw a white car parked next to the passenger side of his car. He then saw a woman get out of his car carrying his wife's purse, the complaint said. The woman got into the driver's seat of the white car.
"Lee immediately got up and ran towards the woman in an attempt to get his wife's purse back," the charges said.
The woman drove at Lee, the complaint said, and continued through the lot as Lee yelled at her to stop. The woman lifted her arm in the air and gestured.
"Lee could not see if she had anything in her hand and was afraid he was going to be shot," the charges said. "Lee grabbed his .40 [caliber] Smith and Wesson handgun, inserted a full magazine into the gun, and fired around at the fleeing vehicle. Lee ran towards the fleeing car and saw the drive raise her right hand and give him the middle finger. Lee was angry and fired an additional shot at the car."
One witness told police that she was backing out of a parking space when she heard a "pop." The witness stopped her car assuming that she had popped a tire. That's when she noticed the white car "screaming out of the parking lot" and speeding north on Lexington Parkway, the complaint said.
"A man ran up to [the witness'] car, used the hood of her car to take a steady shooting platform, and fired one round at the fleeing white car," the charges said.
"You [expletive]!" Lee yelled at the fleeing car.
Lee later told police that he must have left his car doors unlocked, and that he was trying to shoot the white car's tires.
He was issued a permit to carry a pistol on May 6, 2014. The permit and Lee's handgun were confiscated by police, who found two spent casings in the parking lot.
Lee was arrested Monday afternoon and remains in custody.
A 23-year-old Minneapolis man was allegedly scratched by a cougar Thursday at the Como Zoo in St. Paul after apparently climbing a guardrail outside an exhibit.
Zoo security personnel called police around 3:45 p.m. after seeing a man with headphones on the ground yelling at the cougars and pushing on the barrier outside the animals’ exhibit, said Matt Reinartz, Como Zoo spokesman.
The man was playing his music so loud that guards had to tap him on the shoulder, he said.
A visitor reported seeing the man standing up on the railing and reaching through the safety steel mesh barriers, Reinartz said. The zoo’s two cougars are protected by a guard rail 42 inches high and a 20-foot steel mesh on top, he said. There’s another fence of steel mesh that acts as a second barrier, he said.
“A person would have to go to great lengths to penetrate both barriers,” he said.
There are also at least 10 signs in the area warning visitors to stay back behind the guardrail, Reinartz said.
When questioned, the man denied climbing on the railing and reaching through the mesh barrier, Reinartz said. He claimed that he had scratched his hand exiting a bus. No zoo staffer saw the man climb the guardrail, Reinartz said.
The man was cited for disturbing zoo animals and released at the scene, according to a police report.