HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A St. Paul couple is accused of stealing items from a house in South St. Paul that was listed as a “free house” on Craigslist, according to documents filed in Dakota County District Court on Friday.
Charles Bull, 46, and Pernella Bull, 45, both of South St. Paul, were each charged with first-degree burglary in connection with the May 19 incident.
According to a criminal complaint, officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at about 12:05 p.m.
When officers arrived, the victim had the two suspects, Charles and Pernella Bull, detained in her driveway. The victim said she was putting her kids to bed upstairs when she heard someone in her house. When she went downstairs, she discovered the Bulls running out the back door of the house.
She followed the Bulls outside of the house and observed them placing bags of her items on their bicycles. A neighbor of the victim was driving in the alley when the Bulls tried to escape and stopped them. He also made the couple return the stolen items.
Among the items stolen were a full tool box, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, various tools and wires and a large blue duffel bag containing the woman’s purse and various items, according to the complaint.
The Bulls were arrested, and during questioning told police that a friend told them the house was listed as a “free house” on Craigslist. She told police there are always houses listed as “free” where the homeowner needs to get out immediately.
Pernella Bull told police she entered the house and asked “Is anyone here?” and got no response. She said she assumed the house was vacant, starting taking items and giving them to her husband outside.
An officer searched for the victim’s house on Craiglist under the free section, and couldn’t find it.
If convicted, the Bulls each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or $35,000 in fines.