Crime beat: It's not all depressing tales of gloom and doom

  • Article by: Pat Pheifer
  • Star Tribune
  • September 12, 2013 - 8:01 PM


There’s a steady stream of tales of drunken driving, drug possession, domestic abuse and thefts in the police reports and criminal complaints that a newspaper crime reporter sees daily. It can get pretty depressing.

But, sometimes, a little humor emerges from the accounts. Here’s a sampling:

• A man suspected of shoplifting electronics and clothes from the Wal-Mart in Hastings fled from deputies — straight to the front door of the Dakota County jail. He was escorted into the facility and booked. As Sheriff Dave Bellows said in his weekly newsletter, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

• In July, sheriff’s deputies found a man living in a vacant house for sale in Empire Township. Not only had he moved in, but he’s been making improvements with painting and fixing up the place and had put the utilities in his name. He was issued a ticket for trespassing. Let’s hope he increased the value of the home.

• A Farmington man was charged in August of stealing a cartload of items from a store in Burnsville. When loss prevention employees tried to stop the man, he ran to a car and got in the passenger side. When he realized there was nobody in the driver’s seat, he fled again. Oops. After he was caught with more stolen merchandise in a store across the street, he told the officer that his wallet had been stolen. Indeed, there was a wallet belonging to someone else in his pocket.

• A man was charged in July with stealing toilet pipes from three McDonald’s restaurants in Eagan. In each case, he left a toilet or two untouched in case customers needed to use them. Wasn’t that nice?

There are also a few cases in which the name of the suspect or defendant alone elicits a giggle.

Rhett Butler was charged in August with felony drug possession and drunken driving after he was stopped in Marshan Township for going 63 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone. It makes you wonder whether he told the deputy, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a [expletive].”

We don’t publish swear words in the paper unless it’s absolutely necessary, you know.

© 2018 Star Tribune