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Woodbury theft suspect bagged near Dumpster

A Missouri man found with garbage bags full of allegedly stolen goods didn't do himself any favors after being taken into custody this month, Woodbury police say.

After being placed in a police cruiser, the suspect, Dillon Higginbotham, destroyed the interior of the car, ripping wires out of the squad's running boards and leaving its technical instruments inoperable, according to complaint filed by Washington County prosecutors.

Higginbotham, 19, was charged with one count of first-degree property damage and fifth-degree drug possession - both felonies. The Grain Valley, Mo., man was also charged with one count of gross misdemeanor theft.

According to the complaint, police were called Dec. 5 to the Holiday Inn Express on Norma Lane for a theft in progress report.

A maintenance worker there said he spotted a male inside his work truck, so he confronted him. The suspect, later identified as Higginbotham, fled after the man dialed 911.

Police arrived at the scene and followed footprints in the snow to a nearby Dumpster. Higginbotham "popped up" from behind the Dumpster and was taken into custody.

Three bags containing items were also found behind the Dumpster.

A search of his person turned up eight blank checks, an iPod, an iPod cord, a jump drive, a GPS device and a room key for the hotel. The maintenance worker identified the iPod, the cord and the jump drive as his belongings.

Higginbotham allegedly admitted to taking the iPod and jump drive but declined to speak further with officers.

While talking with Higginbotham, motel guests began lining up - each with reports of vehicles having been broken into. One man said a GPS unit had been removed from the truck he was driving. Another person reported a missing GPS unit, a crystal vase, a shoe box and a package of handkerchiefs. All of those items were found in the bags behind the Dumpster.

The motel maintenance worker also reported finding a television missing from the motel's fitness room. It was found inside a garbage bag inside the motel. Police said the television had blood on it; they also noted that Higginbotham's hands had been cut.

A search of Higginbotham's belongings turned up 31 pills identified as Alprazolam, a controlled substance.

Higginbotham is set to appear in court Jan. 11.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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