A Robbinsdale man was sentenced Monday to nearly two years in prison for unwittingly breaking into an FBI agent's vehicle days before the Super Bowl and stealing $80,000 worth of sensitive detection equipment, authorities said.
Emitt Long, 46, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a single count of theft valued at over $35,000. He admitted to breaking through one of the vehicle's windows using a screw driver on the evening of January 30, prosecutors said. The theft occurred at 3rd Street and 4th Avenue S., near the federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis.
At his sentencing Monday, Long told the judge that he was "tired of this" and asked to hug his wife before being led away, according to a news release from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.
Long, whose criminal history includes other theft convictions, will serve out his 20-month sentence at the state prison in St. Cloud, court records show. The sentence will run concurrent with one he received in another theft case and a probation violation.
He told authorities that he was driving down 3rd Street when he spotted the parked car and impulsively decided to break in and take whatever was inside it, according to prosecutors. After shattering the rear passenger-side window, he reached in and grabbed several items from the back seat, before fleeing the scene. One of the items was a large case containing sensitive bomb- and radiation-detection equipment, valued at an estimated $80,000, according to prosecutors. Also stolen were several gas masks.
Upon examining his haul, Long decided to dump most of the equipment into a dumpster near his girlfriend's home in Robbinsdale.
Witnesses at the scene took down the license-plate number of his green sedan, helping police track Long to Robbinsdale, where he was arrested without incident. He confessed almost immediately to the crime, police said.
Long did hang on to two gas masks, because, he later admitted to investigators, he wanted to smoke marijuana out of them. All of the stolen items were recovered.
The car belonged to two FBI agents, who, according to a police report, later brought it back to the Bureau's local field office.
Thousands of federal law enforcement officials were in town for the Feb. 4 game, which authorities called the largest security operation in Minnesota and Super Bowl history.