Charges: Empty gas tanks foils alleged burglar's getaway from Woodbury break-in
A St. Paul man caught with more than 100 pieces of stolen jewelry in his vehicle didn't have the one thing that might have prevented his run-in with police: a full gas tank.
Washington County prosecutors on Oct. 19 charged Carl Junior Jordan, 23, with one count of second-degree burglary, a felony. Police said evidence from Jordan's vehicle linked him to a Woodbury burglary where thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry were reported stolen.
Woodbury police were first alerted to suspicious activity just after midnight Oct. 17 when a Kalen Drive resident reported a male carrying a backpack had come to his house. The male was spotted leaving the area in a white Chevrolet.
Less than 10 minutes later, Woodbury officers learned Newport police had stopped to assist a stranded motorist, later identified as Jordan, whose car had run out of gas. Jordan - whose appearance and vehicle matched the suspect information from the Woodbury report - was "very nervous and antsy" during the stop, according to a criminal complaint outlining the charges.
Jordan admitted to being on Kalen Drive earlier, and "could not provide a good reason for being in that area," the complaint states. Officers also learned there was a warrant out for Jordan's arrest.
Newport police said a search of the car turned up "a large amount of jewelry" in the back seat, as well as dozens of cell-phone car chargers in the trunk. Jordan told the officers the jewelry belonged to his girlfriend.
During the stop, 911 dispatchers received a report that a Woodbury home had been burglarized about 30 to 40 minutes prior on Orchard Ridge Trail - a street that intersects Kalen Drive.
The Orchard Ridge Trail burglary victims went to Newport to identify jewelry found in the back of Jordan's vehicle. The victims identified more than 130 pieces of stolen jewelry, valued at $8,172.
An inspection of the burglarized house allegedly revealed damage and evidence linking it to a screwdriver and gloves found in Jordan's vehicle.
The victims said a 50-year-old Rolex watch valued between $5,000 and $10,000 was also missing, but was not among the items recovered in Jordan's vehicle.
If convicted, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. He was released Oct. 19 from Washington County jail and was scheduled to appear in court again today.
According to Minnesota criminal records, Jordan pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of receiving stolen property and in July 2010 to one count of motor vehicle theft.