Burglary foiled when suspect pocket-dials 911, police say
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. -- A police dispatcher thwarted a burglary attempt at a Maplewood business when a suspect inadvertently called 911 and left the line open as he and an alleged accomplice discussed the crime, police say.
The two men allegedly on the other end of the ill-fated call, Todd J. Weiss and Justin G. Evans, were arrested at the scene. Both face third-degree felony burglary charges.
Weiss, 32, is from Minnetonka. Evans, 38, is from Savage.
The incident took place around 4:45 a.m. April 1. Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said the 911 dispatcher first got a call and hang-up, then another call from the same number.
The second time, the call stayed open, and the dispatcher overheard pieces of a conversation about where police were and the dangers of getting caught.
“If it goes off, they are right across the street,” one of the men said, according to the charges.
It was “pretty clear based on some of that conversation that this was a burglary,” Schnell said.
He said the calls were made using the phone’s emergency-call feature.
As is the case with all 911 calls, the dispatcher could see the location: a car-repair shop.
Officers arrived to see the two men leaving the building wearing dark clothing, the charges said. One was carrying a television, the other a box.
Upon seeing the officers, the men dropped the objects and ran. Officers ordered them to stop, then sent police dogs to nab them.
Weiss declined to speak to police after he was read his Miranda rights. Evans said he had taken more than a dozen Xanax and “appeared to be under the influence of the substance,” the charges said.
He denied being inside the business, saying he was outside behind nearby apartments having relations with his girlfriend.
Both men’s criminal histories include burglary and theft, according to Minnesota court records.
Schnell praised the 911 operator.
“It was a very heads-up dispatcher,” he said.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.