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Police report: No shooting threat at WHS, robbers follow local women, young man asleep at wheel

Note: This is a sample of recent incidents involving the Woodbury police. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

At 8:22 a.m. Feb. 2, five victims -- four girls and a boy -- received threatening direct messages via Instagram. Some of the messages told the parties to kill themselves, while others threatened to come to Lake Middle School and shoot one of the victims. Police are investigating the online communications, including subpoenaing social media accounts.

Three movers were found not to be who they said they were at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 2 at Holiday Inn Express. Woodbury Public Safety contacted the men -- one from Miami, Fla., one from North Miami, Fla., and the other from Mason, Wis. -- who were paid to move items from Wisconsin to Cottage Grove. They had stopped at the Woodbury hotel, parking two 26-foot Uhaul trucks outside. After calling Morgan Van Lines to find out that the men were unaffiliated with the company, the property owner called 911 and her husband found the trucks containing their belongings. The rear doors of the trucks were open and no one was around. The movers said unknown suspects must’ve broken into the trucks, which were locked at 9:30 p.m. the previous night. But the 911 caller didn’t trust them, and Cottage Grove police were on standby at the new house when the men arrived. Woodbury police believed nothing had been taken and that the issue was civil in nature.

Minnesota State Patrol responded to an accident with minor injuries at 1:48 p.m. Feb. 2 near the intersection of Interstate 94 and Keats Avenue. Two vehicles rear ended a flatbed pickup that was stalled in the middle lane of westbound I-94. The front end was gone off the vehicle, according to Woodbury Public Safety’s initial complaint report. Rescue and ambulance were called for extraction and treatment.

At 8 a.m. Feb. 3, police identified a Woodbury resident as a suspect in numerous thefts and burglaries. During a search of a home in the 2100 block of Vining Drive, 139 Redbox movies and games were found. They had been rented with stolen credit cards and never returned. Some of the rentals were traced back to a resident of the 8600 block of Quarry Ridge Lane, where on Nov. 12 a wallet was taken from an unlocked vehicle. It contained credit cards, an ID and $300 cash.

Someone broke the rear driver’s-side window of a 2011 Nissan Sentra in the staff parking lot at Royal Oaks Elementary at 9:03 a.m. Feb. 3. A purple backpack was taken from the backseat. The window was valued at $200.

At 9:36 a.m. Feb. 3, in the 6200 block of Upper Afton Road, police responded to the reported theft of a purse from a Maplewood woman’s unlocked vehicle. The woman parked to drop off her child at daycare, and upon return noticed her driver’s-side door was not shut all the way. By the time she checked her residence for the purse and determined it had been stolen, a credit card had been used for a $207 purchase at Lunds Byerly’s. The store provided video of a suspect in a red jacket and gray sweatpants. The purse also contained $300 in gift cards, a checkbook, $20 cash, a driver’s license and the complainant’s birth certificate.

Juveniles in the Stonemill Farms neighborhood would not listen to neighbors who tried to tell them not to ski on the hill behind the pool area. They were using railings as jumps and props. Police were called about the mischief at 2:35 p.m. Feb. 3, but the kids were gone prior to officer arrival one minute later.

At 2:57 p.m. Feb. 3, neighbors needed police to settle a disagreement. After negotiations, a Woodbury resident agreed not to shout at the complainant for a child putting snow on a sidewalk, while the complainant agreed to keep her dog from urinating at the neighbor’s front door.

Police responded at 5:55 p.m. Feb. 3 for a report of first-degree burglary, second-degree aggravated robbery, and terroristic threats. Two men in their 20s followed two women to their house along Lamplight Drive. Both cars parked, and the men began yelling for one of the women to give them all their money and valuables or they would kill her. They implied a weapon, reached in their coats as if to get a weapon, and received from the woman a wallet, phone and keys. A credit card was used at several stores at Sun Ray Shopping Center in St. Paul, but when officers checked, the men were not there.

At 8:13 a.m. Feb. 4, a Woodbury woman admitted to texting while driving, causing a single-vehicle accident. She received a citation after leaving the road, traveling 35 yards along the shoulder, and then becoming stuck in a snowbank. A young girl was in the backseat. The vehicle was towed to the road.

Police tracked the snowy footprints of a suspicious person from Cascade Plaza to Windsor Lane and then Caulfield Plaza at 11:42 p.m. Feb. 5. The subject reportedly walked around two 911 callers’ residences, then up a hill behind the houses to his home. “Contact was not made at that residence due to past history,” police wrote in the initial complaint report. “No crime at this time.”

On Feb. 6, Woodbury Public Safety Director Lee Vague sent a letter to Woodbury High School students, families and staff addressing a report from the previous day, when police were alerted to disturbing social media messages involving a threat at the school. “I want to confirm that our investigation has found no threat to anyone at Woodbury High School,” Vague said in the letter. “The safety of our children and our schools is our top priority.” Officers and the local FBI office conducted an investigation including text messages, Twitter and Snapchat -- some of them threatening to shoot up the school. A few local students showed poor judgment, Vague said, but there was no actual threat or criminal intent. Police increased their presence during the activities of Winter Week.

Police and firefighters responded at 3:27 a.m. Feb. 7 to the 10400 block of Bailey Road, where a Newport boy fell asleep at the wheel, ended up running his car into a pit on Bailey Nurseries property, and got cuts to his face. The driver was cited for careless driving. He called in the accident.

An injured eagle was reported to police at 5:03 p.m. Feb. 7 along Radio Drive, but police couldn’t find it.

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