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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Woodbury police on Wednesday identified a 54-year-old Minneapolis man as the man suspected of robbing a jewelry store before taking his own life. According to police, the subject, Thomas Eric Jones, brandished a handgun Saturday, June 21, while attempting to rob Johnson Jewelers.
How about Woodbury residents appearing on a popular game show for $500, please? Woodbury resident Alana Norton will appear on the quiz show Jeopardy! on Wednesday, according to a news release. Norton, a furniture store manager, will be among three contestants appearing on the show that airs at 4:30 p.m. on Channel 11.
Dozens of families made their way Saturday, June 21, to the Woodbury Fire Department’s Fox Run station – one of four Woodbury fire stations that held open houses that day. See the attached photo gallery from the Fox Run station event.
A pair of Woodbury Burger King workers apparently wanted it their way, according to criminal charges. Prechez Ariane Natira Anderson and Deantre Rickey-Rene Squalls are accused of using their jobs at the fast food restaurant as a ploy to steal a customer’s credit card information and purchase a television set. Anderson, of St. Paul, and Squalls, of Minneapolis, were each charged with one count of aiding and abetting financial card fraud, a felony. Woodbury police received a report in March of a fraudulent online purchase made for a $694 TV through Walmart.
Woodbury police announced Sunday that the suspected accomplice in a deadly weekend robbery attempt has been arrested. According to Woodbury Public Safety Department spokeswoman Michelle Okada, police on Sunday arrested Minneapolis resident Erick Larkins.
A deadly robbery attempt Saturday morning in Woodbury might have ended differently, were it not for the presence of a Woodbury patrol officer and an alert worker. According to the Woodbury Public Safety Department, an armed man attempted to rob Johnson Jewelers on Radio Drive in the Seasons Market shopping center, but ended up turning the gun on himself. Woodbury detectives continue to search for the alleged accomplice.
Police on patrol at 1:49 a.m. June 4 on Tamberwood Lane stopped a man on foot. Officers noted the area had been struck by recent vehicle break-ins. Police detected the pedestrian’s speech was slurred; he admitted to drinking at a friend’s home. A breath test revealed the man’s blood-alcohol level was 0.13.
An Afton man convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct will be sentenced in July. A jury convicted Charles Arthur Bell, 63, after a four-day trial that concluded May 22 in Washington County District Court. The charges emerged in 2012 after a then- 20-year-old woman came forward with accusations that Bell had raped her when she was 8 years old. A criminal complaint stated Bell touched the girl – known to him through family ties – before forcing her to perform a sex act on him. Years later as an adult, she confronted Bell about the incident through a series of text messages.
A Woodbury party allegedly gave way to a violent robbery, leaving one male injured and three others charged with felonies. The suspects, St. Paul Park resident Kyle Elwell was charged with simple robbery.
Police determined a sandal was to blame for a massive hole punched through a Woodbury restaurant. Officers were called at 8:28 p.m. Friday, June 13, to Perkins Family Restaurant for a report of a car vs. a building. Police arrived at the Currell Boulevard location to find a vehicle that had crashed through a west-facing exterior wall. No one inside the restaurant was injured, nor were any occupants of the vehicle. The driver, a 69-year-old Inver Grove Heights woman, told police she was wearing sandals and thought she was hitting the brake while attempting to park the vehicle.