Twin Cities weekend crime recap

10,000 fentanyl pills were seized during a police operation in Minneapolis, a 17-year-old was killed in Brooklyn Park, and more.

The front door at 36Lyn Refuel was smashed during a burglary (36Lyn Refuel)

Plymouth police on Thursday announced one suspect was in custody and requested the public’s help in reporting the whereabouts of two other young adult suspects sought in the shooting homicide of a teen in their city last week.

Augustus ‘AJ’ Matthew Sirleaf Jr. and Hans Madave (Plymouth Police Dept.)

Police said Luke Davin Williams, 18, had been taken into custody without incident on Wednesday, but they were still seeking Augustus ‘AJ’ Matthew Sirleaf Jr., 19, of Plymouth and Hans Madave, 19, of New Hope in connection to the homicide.

Police announced Friday that Sirleaf had turned himself in to police overnight and Madave was still being sought. Madave did not appear to be in custody as of Monday morning.

Yaseen Thomas Johnson, 17, of Albertville died as a result of the shooting which took place on Monday Nov. 14 just before 6 p.m. on the 9700 block of 37th Place North. Johnson had been found inside a vehicle and died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police have not yet provided any details about what may have led up to the shooting.

Jesse Willis Gleeson, 32, of Oakdale was charged Thursday in Ramsey County Court with two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder in connection to the shooting homicide of Deondrae R. Atkins, 33, last Sunday in downtown St. Paul.

Jesse Willis Gleeson (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

Atkins, of St. Paul, was found deceased early Sunday morning on the 200 block of West 9th Street from an apparent gunshot wound.

Charges against Gleeson allege another man fired the fatal shot and that the murder occurred during an attempted robbery. When police found Atkins deceased, he had a large sum of money in both front pockets. People familiar with Atkins told police he was known to live in his vehicle and was known to use and sell fentanyl. People familiar with Atkins also told police that Atkins’ Saturn Aura was missing.

Charges say the shooting was captured on surveillance video and the shooter was another man Gleeson later identified to police as “Skee.” Surveillance images showed both Gleeson and the shooter present at Atkins’ vehicle at the time of the shooting. Surveillance video also showed the shooter getting into Atkins’ vehicle and driving away after Atkins had exited the vehicle after being shot.

Further surveillance video showed the Saturn and Gleeson’s vehicle traveling together after leaving the scene of the murder. Atkins’ Saturn was later found by police near 280 Ravoux Street.

Following further investigation, Gleeson was arrested at an Oakdale apartment on Wednesday and remains in custody on $1 million bail. The unnamed shooter apparently remains at large.

Edina police responded about 8:30 p.m. Thursday on a report of a robbery of business at Macy’s at Southdale Center. Dispatch audio indicated that a suspect fought with staff as he was trying to steal a duffel bag. The suspect reportedly dropped the bag as he fled. Police aired over dispatch about three minutes later that they had caught up with the suspect in the parking lot of Lifetime Fitness and had him “proned out” on the ground, and they said he was complying with commands.

An Edina police booking report detailed that a 19-year-old male was arrested for strong-arm robbery in the incident. The loss was noted as a Hilfiger duffel bag and a men’s Levi’s jacket valued at $383. A corresponding Hennepin County Jail booking record indicated that a suspect matching the time frame and charge was booked into jail following the arrest but was released the following day without being charged. No public statement was issued by police about the incident.

A vehicle crashed into a single-family residence in Crystal just after midnight Friday badly damaging the home, CCX Media reported. The crash occurred on the 5300 block of Maryland Avenue. A male in his 40s was reportedly arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. Information on the arrested party was not immediately available.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger announced on Friday the arrest and charges against a Blaine felon on illegal possession of a firearm.

Carson Thomas McCoy (prior mugshot/Anoka County Jail)

Charges against Carson Thomas McCoy, 21, stem from an Aug. 10 incident when McCoy was charged with stealing a firearm during a Ham Lake burglary and subsequently firing shots at motorcyclists near Crosstown Boulevard and Lexington Avenue Northeast.

McCoy and a female passenger were apprehended after McCoy rammed an Anoka County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle. A subsequent search of the stolen black BMW McCoy had been driving turned up the Springfield Armory handgun previously stolen from the Ham Lake residence, a Bersa .380 caliber handgun, narcotics, $851 in cash, and a false identification card.

Court documents and a law enforcement affidavit say that on July 19, 2022, McCoy used the false identification card at car dealership in Eden Prairie to arrange a test drive of the stolen black BMW sedan and then never returned the car.

Alpha News previously reported on McCoy’s extensive criminal history and his convictions earlier this year in several felony cases in which he was sentenced to probation by Hennepin County Judge Nicole A. Engisch just three months prior to the August incidents.

McCoy has been charged in federal court with one count of possession of a firearm as a felon and made his first court appearance last Thursday. McCoy has been ordered to remain in detention pending further proceedings.

Edina police posted on their website Friday asking for the public’s help with information on suspects in an attempted robbery and assault of a woman that took place in their city on Nov. 13 around 8:30 p.m. near 69th and York Avenue South.

Police said a dark-colored SUV with a loud muffler pulled up to a woman as she was standing on the northwest corner of York and 69th Street, by One Southdale Place. Two younger men, believed to be between the ages of 16 and 20, exited the SUV and demanded the victim’s purse. They assaulted the woman when she did not cooperate. No belongings were taken, but the victim sustained injuries to her face and head.

No known security footage is available of the incident, police said. Edina police are looking for witnesses who may have been in the area at the time of the incident and noticed anything suspicious. If you have information on this incident, contact Detective Joel Moore at 952-826-0485 or wzbber@RqvanZA.tbi.

Brooklyn Park police reported they were investigating a homicide after two 17-year-old boys were shot Friday night with one of them sustaining fatal injuries. A third 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting murder and is being held in Hennepin County Juvenile Detention.

Dispatch audio at the time indicated that law enforcement responders were with two people on I-94 near 53rd Avenue North who had been shot. Officers aired at the time that one had no pulse and CPR was being performed. The other person was reported to be shot in the leg and responders were applying a tourniquet.

The BPPD statement said they were notified about 8:50 p.m. by other agencies who were on the scene with the injured parties that the shooting had occurred in Brooklyn Park. They said it was initially learned that the incident had occurred at an apartment complex in the 8400 block of Regent Avenue North and the victims drove to where they had been discovered. BPPD said that one of the victims passed away from the injuries they sustained but offered no details on what may have led to the shooting. Police said they do not believe the shooting was random.

Both the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office provided recaps of the results of their Friday night focused enforcement detail which MPD said netted a combined 30 arrests, the confiscation of thousands of fentanyl tabs, the recovery of several stolen vehicles, and 24 guns taken off the street, including the gun pictured below.

Both agencies said the enforcement detail was part of “Operation Endeavor,” which is a safety initiative implemented by the city of Minneapolis at the end of September.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office posted photos of what they said were eight illegally possessed guns and approximately 10,000 fentanyl pills they say were seized as part of a warrant execution in the area of West Broadway and Emerson Avenue North.

They said several suspects tried to flee out of a window but were apprehended. Eleven suspects were arrested and booked during that part of the operation.

Neither agency offered information about any of the arrested parties or what charges they may face.

MPD said Friday’s detail involved law enforcement partners from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and its Violent Offender Task Force, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, the ATF, and the DEA.

St. Paul police responded to a report of a shooting Saturday just after 10:30 p.m. on the 900 block of Jackson Street. The victim was reported to be shot in the foot and the suspect was reportedly being held down. A female was reported to have had taken away the suspect’s gun, according to dispatch audio at the time. Police arrived and confirmed the victim had been shot in the foot and the suspect was in custody.

Jail records show Dennis Thomas, 55, was booked into custody on a probable cause charge of assault. Thomas was charged in Ramsey County Court on Monday with two felony counts of second-degree assault.

Charges say Thomas, of West St. Paul, and the victim got into an altercation; Thomas pulled out a gun, the victim pulled out a knife, and they fought. The gun went off during the struggle and the victim was shot in the pinky toe. The victim yelled to his wife to kick away the gun as the victim pinned Thomas to the ground.

Charges say the victim’s wife later told police that Thomas was a family friend. She said she came out of the house after hearing a gunshot. She was approached by Thomas who then pointed a gun at her. She said Thomas “didn’t appear normal,” and then hit her in the face with the gun when she asked him what was going on. The woman then physically struggled with Thomas and wrested the gun away from him and put it in the house while yelling for her renter to call police.

The criminal complaint notes that Thomas had a permit to carry a firearm from the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. Thomas has a prior 1995 felony drug conviction in Ramsey County District Court that makes him ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition, the charging document says. Thomas was discharged from probation on that case in November 2000. Charges say it appears that Thomas was advised of a 10-year firearm prohibition [by Dakota County] instead of the lifetime prohibition under the statute as it applies to him.

Thomas remained in custody on $50,000 bail on Monday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the new charges on Tuesday.

A south Minneapolis gas station became the victim of a smash and grab burglary for the second time in two months early Sunday morning (top photo). The business owner told Crime Watch in a private message that they arrived to find the front door smashed.

Dispatch audio confirms that police were dispatched to the location at 3551 Lyndale Avenue South about 5:45 a.m. on a report that staff had arrived to find the business burglarized.

Videos and photos provided to Crime Watch showed a U-Haul truck pull up in front of the business at about 3:38 a.m., according to the timestamp on the videos. A person of unknown gender who appears to be white with a hair bun on top of their head smashes the front door window and enters the building. The suspect then proceeded to go behind the counter and fill a bag with merchandise and then exit through the same smashed door.

At the time of Sunday’s burglary, the front door of the business was still partially boarded from the prior smash and grab in September when suspects backed a vehicle into the doors before burglarizing the store.

A woman in her 50s died Sunday night in Northeast Minneapolis after police say she may have been struck by a vehicle after falling in a parking lot.

Responders were dispatched about 8:15 p.m. on a report of a female who was “down” and not breathing in a parking lot on the 800 block of East Hennepin Avenue, according to dispatch audio. As police arrived, they reported CPR was being performed on the party by medical responders already on site. A responding officer called for more squads to the scene.

A statement later released by the Minneapolis Police Department said that preliminary information indicated that the woman had fallen in the parking lot and was struck by a vehicle. They said the involved vehicle had left the scene before police arrived, and no arrest had been made at the time. Police reportedly told media Monday afternoon that the driver and vehicle had been located but no arrest had yet been made.

Around Minnesota

Benton Louis Beyer, 33, of Richmond, Minn., was sentenced in Stearns County Court Friday to nearly nine years in prison on charges related to stalking and harassing a Cold Spring family. A jury found Beyer guilty on several felony charges in September, some of which they say were related to racial bias.

Benton Louis Beyer (Stearns County Jail)

Beyer was accused of causing a stolen vehicle to crash into the family’s home in July 2021 by placing a piece of granite on the accelerator. Inside the vehicle was a teddy bear hanging from a noose. The harassment had reportedly taken place over several weeks. The female half of the interracial couple finally obtained a restraining order against Beyer.

Beyer was convicted on several felony counts including multiple counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, stalking, violations of harassment restraining orders, first-degree criminal damage to property and theft of a motor vehicle. The jury found that the assault and stalking charges were motivated by racial bias.

Minnesota only requires offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated and the remainder on supervised release. As such, Beyer is scheduled for release from prison in May 2027.

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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.


Crime Watch MN

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