Housesitter allegedly makes off with guns, jewels

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 19, 2013 - 10:35 PM

 

He was supposed to watch a neighbor’s house, mow the lawn and water the plants while the homeowner was away, but instead, authorities said, a White Bear Lake man, allegedly high on methamphetamines, stole cash, guns and jewelry.

Robert M. Laughter Jr., 32, was house-sitting for a resident who lived on his street when he committed the crimes and pawned some of the goods in June, according to charges filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court. Laughter faces two charges of first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and motor vehicle theft.

Laughter was high on meth almost daily and invited a woman from a Backpages.com ad and a friend he met in prison to the house, the charges allege.

According to the complaint: Laughter’s father called the homeowner to report that the homeowner’s truck was missing from the driveway. Laughter, who had been told not to drive it, ignored his father’s calls and text messages. He did correspond on Facebook.

“The father expressed love and support for his son and then wrote, ‘I strongly suggest that truck is in the driveway when I go to work in the morning,’ ” according to charges.

“Laughter replied, ‘It will be there,’ ” the complaint said. “The father then wrote, ‘[The homeowner] just called me and told me what else you took, his mother’s rings, pegs, jewelry, and his guns. What the [expletive] are you thinking, EVERYTHING IN THE DRIVEWAY.’ ”

A relative of the homeowner met with police at the house and found that it was ransacked. Missing were change, two handguns, two shotguns, two laptops, a computer, six to seven diamond rings, a pair of diamond earrings and the $25,000 truck, the complaint said.

Laughter and his father went to White Bear Lake police on July 5, and Laughter admitted to being high on meth almost daily while house-sitting, according to charges. He said he invited a woman from a Backpages.com ad over, and she took the jewelry and he didn’t stop her.

Also according to the complaint: Laughter invited a friend over and they split a sterling silver set. Laughter pawned silver utensils on June 25 for $491. Laughter sold two handguns to another friend, someone he met in prison, for $300 and some meth.

The pickup truck and two shotguns were recovered.

Laughter’s record includes eight felony convictions, four for burglaries.

 

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

 

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