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Apple Valley neighbors' feud leads to blizzard of magazines

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER
  • Star Tribune
  • February 14, 2013 - 12:30 AM

Magazine subscriptions were the latest weapon for an Apple Valley woman in a dispute with her next-door neighbor, according to police.

Angry that she'd been reported to the homeowners' association over a complaint about her dogs, Brenda Lee Sanchez is accused of subscribing to 23 magazines -- costing more than $520 -- using her neighbor's name and address.

That prompted a torrent of titles such as Minnesota Sportsman, Diesel Power, MuscleMag, Snowmobiler and UFC 360, an ultimate fighting publication, to show up at Laine E. Anderson's doorstep -- along with the bills, according to court documents and Apple Valley police.

Sanchez, 50, was charged Wednesday in Dakota County District Court with two counts of felony stalking.

Anderson, 55, said the trouble started when she tried to talk to Sanchez about her two dogs urinating and defecating in her yard. After talking to Sanchez many times without success, she said, she went to the homeowners association.

After a weekend trip up north in late November, Anderson said she arrived home to a note in her mailbox telling her to pick up her mail at the post office. When she did, the clerk brought out a bin full of magazines.

As she called to cancel each of the subscriptions, Anderson said she asked for the subscription cards. Police were able to compare the handwriting on the cards to the handwriting on a letter Sanchez had sent to the homeowners association. The samples matched.

Apple Valley police Capt. Mike Marben said many of the magazines weren't cheap. The Danbury Mint, for example, cost $106.50.

Sanchez initially denied any involvement in the magazine subscriptions. But when police searched her home on Jan. 22, she admitted filling in Anderson's name and address on the subscription cards, according to the criminal complaint.

"I did them all," Sanchez allegedly told police.

"She explained there had been a lot of rift between the two of them because [Anderson] had reportedly turned Sanchez in to the homeowner association concerning Sanchez's dog reportedly using [Anderson's] yard as a bathroom," the complaint said. "She admitted she was frustrated with her neighbor and did not feel she could get in trouble for this."

Anderson said the magazines were just the final straw in an ongoing battle. She accused Sanchez of pouring bleach on five bushes in her yard, trying to snap the trunk of a newly planted tree, swiping a UPS package from her doorstep and other misdeeds.

"The list goes on and on," Anderson said. "I can't prove any of the other stuff. When she does it, I'm either up north or I'm sleeping. She thinks it's funny. She thinks bullying me is funny."

No one answered phone calls to Sanchez's home Wednesday. She was charged by summons and will make her first court appearance in four to six weeks, the county attorney's office said.

"I'm putting my house up for sale," Anderson said. "I can't live next to her. I don't know what she's going to do next."

Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284

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