Local man’s ‘impulsive’ act leads to charges

SPD logo-1A Stillwater man’s admitted “impulsive act” resulted in second-degree burglary and damage to property charges in connection with the Dec. 21 break-in of a downtown business.

Stillwater Police officers arrested Samuel Hernandez after the officers responded to a burglary-in-progress call about 11 p.m. last Friday from two teenagers and an adult who witnessed the incident.

Reports said the burglary occurred at a store in the 200 block of Main Street. Witness reports indicate that Hernandez allegedly broke a rear window of the store with a 2-by-4 board, and acted as though he knew what he was doing because he was hiding from cars and people in the shadows.

Reports said Hernandez was caught crawling towards the east exit door by arriving officers. Reports added that Hernandez appeared to be startled by the officers and ran toward the door where officers were standing.

Hernandez is allegedly to have $210 in his hand when caught. After officers ordered Hernandez to lay on the ground and he didn’t comply, officers helped him to the ground, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a squad, according to the report.

Reports said Hernandez smelled like alcohol and a PBT test indicated that his alcohol content was .114. Reports added that Hernandez was taken to the Washington County Jail where he submitted to a Miranda interview after deciding to not have an attorney present.

Reports said Hernandez admitted to being inside the store and opening the cash till, but he told officers he didn’t know why he had chosen to burglarize the store. He told officers that since he’s been doing drugs, he had an impulse to steal and hadn’t had a criminal record until he started taking drugs five years ago.

Reports indicate Hernandez told officers, “I get this impulsiveness and I don’t know where it comes from. I’m trying to figure out where it comes from.”

Hernandez added that he lives at Stillwater Residence, takes medications and sees a psychiatrist for mental health disorders.  According to reports, Hernandez said he recently completed six months of treatment for his addiction, but added that he still has impulses to steal.

According to reports, Hernandez added that he had worked at the store he is accused of burglarizing and worked at two other area stores. He also admitted that he had lost one job due to stealing from the register because he was afraid he would not make rent at the time due to cutbacks in his hours.

Hernandez also admitted committing three counts of felony burglary in Dakota County and is on five years probation after stealing from residents at an apartment complex where he worked. Hernandez is due to turn himself in to Dakota County Jail on Jan. 3.

Women cited for lurking with intent

Three women were cited for attempted mail theft and lurking with intent Dec. 21 after a man told police he had seen the trio open his and his neighbor’s mailboxes.

According to SPD reports, the man called police around 1:30 p.m. last Friday and said he was following a vehicle after he observed a passenger in the car allegedly opening mailboxes in his neighborhood.

He followed the vehicle on Sycamore and Amundson streets, then followed them down toward a dead end road to the Johnson Drive neighborhood, where he said the women also opened mailboxes there.

Police responded to the call and pulled over the car. Reports said the three women, all with driver’s licenses listing Apple Valley addresses, got out of the car.  Officers confronted the driver, identified as Brandi Anderson, and asked her why she and her friends were allegedly opening mailboxes and why she was driving in a residential area without any goal or destination.

Reports said Anderson told officers that she had gotten lost driving from Target to Wisconsin, where Anderson said she had lived for a month. Anderson’s friends, Angela Vogel and Christine Larkin, repeated the story to officers during separate questioning.

Reports indicate that Anderson’s search was searched and no mail was found indicating that a theft had occurred before they were spotted. There were also no fliers in the car that the women might have put into mailboxes.

The report has been forwarded to the Stillwater City Attorney’s office for review of potential mail tampering or theft charges.