A middle-of-the-night thief slipped into a Maplewood assisted-living facility and swiped a countertop-mounted safe containing keys for rooms and storage cabinets, authorities said.
The man who struck the Homestead at Maplewood shortly after 2 a.m. on Nov. 7 has not been caught, and neither the safe nor the keys have surfaced.
The suspect did leave behind his image on video surveillance, with the most telling feature being what police are calling the "fairly distinctive jacket" he was wearing: dark in color, with a wide, lighter-colored line circling the jacket. The jacket's color above the line appears to be darker than the rest of the jacket.
"It is certainly possible, and seemingly likely, that the suspect had some familiarity with the building," said Deputy Police Chief Dave Kvam. "His progression to the countertop safe suggests that he did [have familiarity], whether as an employee or visitor."
The 61-unit senior care facility, near White Bear Avenue and Hwy. 36, is a secure-entrance building, but "a resident inadvertently let the suspect in," police said in a statement.
"We are hopeful the public can help us identify the suspect in this crime," Kvam said. "The man took advantage of a resident's courtesy, and we'd like to bring him to justice."
According to police:
The man, described as 25 to 35 years old and with a medium build, appeared concerned about video surveillance and kept his face from being clearly captured on camera as he walked down a hall toward the room with the safe.
He tried prying the safe off the counter, then turned off the lights and finished the job.