UPDATE: Two charged in Borofka's Furniture robbery
After a robbery at Borofka's Furniture Wednesday morning in Woodbury, several suspects were arrested — one of whom was caught in a golf course pond.
Abdiqadar Salah Kasim, 18, is facing simple robbery charges in Washington County District Court, and Waiys Mohamud Abdullahi, 27, of Minneapolis is charged with aiding and abetting simple robbery. Both charges are felonies.
Kasim, who has no permanent address, is due in court Sept. 21 and was being held in the Washington County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail with conditions or $1 million without conditions.
Abdullahi, headed to court Sept. 22, was held in lieu of $20,000 bail with conditions or $75,000 without conditions.
As of Tuesday, charges had not been filed against three other men present during the incident, according to the Washington County Attorney's Office.
A young man grabbed less than $100 from the cash drawer at the Hudson Road store, then lost track of the exit and ran around the store. He was dodging and pushing salespeople and jumping over beds and other furniture before getting out through a back door. Police were called to the robbery in progress at 11:33 a.m.
The man, later identified as Kasim, jumped a 4-foot-high fence, where he met Abdullahi and they sprinted across four lanes of Interstate 94. Abdullahi lost a flip flop on the run, then got into the backseat of a waiting car parked on the shoulder of westbound Interstate 94 near Inwood Avenue.
Kasim stopped at the car before disappearing into bushes alongside the busy thoroughfare.
Weapons were recovered from the men's car, Woodbury Public Safety spokeswoman Michelle Okada said, but no weapon was seen or implied during the robbery and no one was hurt.
In the store, a saleswoman had approached the man, who she saw behind the counter with bills protruding from his pockets, said manager Maynard Huth, who along with Jim Borofka co-owns the store in the 8000 block of Hudson Road. She demanded the cash be returned to the empty drawer.
Kasim, who left fingerprints at the scene, spoke with the four employees present during the robbery and they remained rattled by the situation after they attempted to keep the man in the store until police arrived, one witness said. Multiple customers were shopping as well, Huth said.
"Their personal safety is always what should be their primary concern," Okada said of situations like robberies.
Victims should attempt to stay calm, stay out of harm's way, and get as much information as possible — descriptions of vehicles or suspects involved in crimes.
"Keep safe and share info," Okada said.
Woodbury and Oakdale police, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Patrol set up a perimeter and chased Kasim to Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale.
It is unclear to police why the vehicle was stopped on the interstate, but a 911 call about a suspicious vehicle was transferred to the State Patrol at 11:16 a.m., initiating a trooper's involvement in the investigation, Okada said.
Law enforcement was already on scene when Kasim fled up the hill, ran several blocks through two Oakdale neighborhoods, and hid in a wooded area on the course. After about an hour, police apprehended him in a golf course pond on the 13th green, some 400 feet into the course, off of Fourth Street.
One resident witnessed the arrest of the man fleeing police from the deck of his home along Holly Lane, which abuts the pond.
"He came right up through my front yard. I told them, 'He went that way,' and they got him," the resident said.
The man went into another resident's open garage and out of the backdoor of a house along Holly Lane as he fled police.
There is no further threat to the public, Okada said.
Woodbury police arrested three of the men at the car parked on the interstate at about 11:45 a.m., while the alleged robber fled before his eventual capture. Kasim was handcuffed and transported via ambulance to Woodwinds Health Campus for evaluation. He was not injured during the robbery or chase, Okada said. Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Kasim was spitting, drooling, and making vomiting motions, according to the complaint.
Officers recovered evidence at the scene — including a sandal on the interstate and coins and small bills in the car's backseat — and also searched along the route of the chase.
After the incident, Borofka Furniture's front door was locked while employees waited for the store owners to arrive and police to return for witness statements.
"We have had quite a scare," a sign on the door read.
The business reopened Thursday after the all-female sales staff felt more comfortable at work again, Huth said. "We just wanted to make sure all the employees are comfortable. We are just glad no one is hurt. All's well that ends well."
Huth said that while he's co-owned Borofka Furniture for 22 years, the Woodbury store hasn't suffered a crime in its 12 years of existence.
"This one is more brazen. We have been burglarized once or twice before, but this is one of the more brazen," Huth said. "We, of course, keep a minimal amount of cash — $100. He took the $100.
"Most people realize that a furniture store doesn't carry thousands and thousands of dollars. This criminal has a mother; I'm sure she isn't that proud of him right now."