A 49-year-old Roseville man has been charged with three felonies in connection with incidents in which signs with social justice messages were vandalized and notes threatening violence or arson were left for the east metro residents who put them up.
Kevin Jay Karjalahti, 49, was arrested Wednesday and charged Thursday, according to Roseville Deputy Police Chief Erika Scheider.
From May 29 to June 1, 2020, four notes were left at residences, three in Roseville and one in St. Paul, Scheider wrote in a news release. All appeared to have been written by the same person.
On May 30, a resident in the area of Roma Avenue and N. Fernwood Street reported a note placed in the front door stating it would be in their best interest to remove their “Black Lives Matter” sign because “Payback is coming.”
Also on May 30, a second note was found at a home near Hamline Avenue and County Road B2. It said the residents should take down their sign or “You and your home will burn real quiet while you sleep in it.” On the morning of June 1, a resident of the same area found a note on their vehicle that read, “Your house burns next.” An “All Are Welcome Here” yard sign had been damaged.
On June 1, a nearby St. Paul resident found similar notes threatening arson and violence.
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension forensic investigators found fingerprints matching Karjalahti’s on two letters. Detectives compared his handwriting on all of the notes and found distinct similarities. Karjalahti was arrested Wednesday.
The incidents were among several, including ones where dead raccoons were left near sign sites, that have been under investigation as bias crimes.