Charges: St. Paul man impersonated police 3 times, stole cash

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2013 - 9:32 PM

Suspect showed badge, handcuffed victims, charges say.

A St. Paul man allegedly impersonated a police officer in the city last weekend, handcuffing two people, searching their home and making off with $290 on Friday.

Morgan T. Wilson, 48, allegedly pulled the stunt two more times before he was arrested Saturday, according to charges filed Monday in Ramsey County district court. Wilson is charged with first-degree burglary and two counts of false imprisonment.

According to the complaint: On Friday Wilson allegedly knocked on a door in the 600 block of Marshall Avenue about noon and said he was an officer. He lifted his shirt and showed a white badge and black Taser on his waistband to a woman.

Wilson allegedly pointed at the woman's 17-year-old son, demanded his name and asked if he was involved in a robbery earlier that day. Wilson handcuffed the boy and took $70 from his wallet, the complaint said.

Wilson then asked the woman's 19-year-old daughter if they owned guns. She said they had four hunting rifles, and he ordered her to take him upstairs where he handcuffed a 51-year-old man before examining the guns, the complaint said.

Wilson allegedly moved all four victims to the living room and searched upstairs for about 10 minutes, eventually removing the handcuffs and leaving with more money. He told the family he was going to investigate whether the money was stolen.

About 6:34 p.m. Saturday, Wilson allegedly asked two men standing outside in the 700 block of Iglehart Avenue for their identification. He claimed he was an officer.

One man questioned Wilson's credentials, and Wilson raised his voice and displayed the badge on his waistband. He threatened to take the men to jail, the complaint said.

One man asked to see Wilson's police photo identification, at which point Wilson grabbed him by the neck, squeezed and shoved him backward, the charges said. The second man reached out to help his friend, and Wilson allegedly grabbed at what the men thought was a gun hanging from his waistband.

The men raised their hands, and Wilson looked at their IDs, let go of the man's neck and left, the complaint said.

Shortly after, police were called to the 600 block of Marshall Avenue about a man impersonating an officer. Wilson allegedly knocked on a door and said, "St. Paul police, open up."

He pounded on the door, swore and kicked at the door when the homeowner declined, the complaint said. The homeowner asked for a badge number.

Wilson allegedly said, "885," and the homeowner countered, "That's not a real badge number."

"I'll get you," Wilson said, according to the complaint. "I'll come back with a search warrant."

An officer and his K-9 partner tracked Wilson's footprints in the snow and arrested him in an alley between St. Albans and Grotto streets.

Wilson's previous convictions include burglary, check forgery, aggravated robbery and theft.

About 12:27 a.m. Saturday, police arrested a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly driving behind a motorist, flashing his high beams and using his cellphone to flash red and blue lights, said Sgt. Paul Paulos. The teen was arrested and had a blood-alcohol-content of 0.20 percent, Paulos said. The incident was unrelated to Wilson's case.

Citizens should always feel free to ask to see an officer's badge and photo identification to verify identity, Paulos said.

"If in doubt, call," he said, adding that citizens can call police to verify identification or request a squad to respond to questionable situations.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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