Hennepin County attorney reverses decision not to prosecute ‘doggie door’ burglary suspect

After reportedly refusing to prosecute a burglar who broke into a Minneapolis home through the doggie door last week, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has now reversed course and will seek prosecution after all.

Edward Hollivay/Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

A brazen midday burglary captured on a homeowner’s security video last week, which showed the burglar entering the home through the “doggie door,” seems like it would be a slam dunk for prosecutors.

So, the homeowner was shocked to learn that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office wouldn’t be filing charges against the suspect whom police found inside the home when they arrived.

The incident unfolded last week on June 23 on the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue South in Minneapolis. The homeowner called 911 when they observed on their home security video a male enter their home through the dog door at the back of the home.

Crime Watch Minneapolis posted about the incident on Twitter based on police scanner radio traffic at the time. Several squads responded, and police took a male into custody from the home shortly after they arrived. Other officers were able to secure the homeowner’s dog, which had been loose inside the home, and then used a police K9 to search the home for other possible suspects, but none were found.

The suspect was subsequently booked into custody at Hennepin County Jail on probable cause burglary.

However, Crime Watch Minneapolis posted on Wednesday that the homeowner had messaged the account and said the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office was declining to prosecute the suspect.

The homeowner claimed that despite the burglar being captured on video and found inside their home, the prosecutor’s office gave them several excuses for why it was declining to prosecute the suspect.

The prosecutor’s reasons, as told by the homeowner, included claiming that entering the home through a dog door wasn’t considered breaking and entering, the suspect didn’t actually steal anything, and no one was home inside the residence at the time of the burglary.

The homeowner told Crime Watch that the suspect was in the home for 20 minutes and had grabbed a hammer and a knife while inside the house after possibly being cornered in the kitchen by the family’s pit bull.

The social media post garnered several responses expressing outrage at the decision not to prosecute.

“Minneapolis … where criminals have a free pass to do whatever they want!” wrote one follower.

Within hours of the social media post, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office apparently indicated to the homeowner that it was reversing course and would seek prosecution after all, according to a later tweet by Crime Watch Minneapolis.

The suspect in the burglary is Edward Hollivay, who has several prior robbery convictions and is no longer in custody after being released from jail without charges last week.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office did not respond to an Alpha News reporter’s email request for comment, so it’s not confirmed whether the social media responses played a role in the reversal of the decision not to charge. Information on potential new charges was also not immediately available.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.