RAMSEY, Minn. (WCCO) – Two St. Paul men are accused of breaking into a Ramsey home a week after the owner of the residence died, according to charges filed Tuesday in Anoka County Court.

John Manuel Contreras, 24, and Jeffrey Lancman, 42, were each charged with one count of second-degree burglary in connection with the Sept. 26 incident.

According to a complaint, a neighbor in the area called police at 1:46 a.m. on Sept. 26 to report suspicious activity on the 14000 block of Argon Street NW in Ramsey. The witness said a U-Haul moving van was in the driveway and lights were on inside the house. The neighbor said nobody should be in the home because the owner had died the week before.

When authorities arrived, officers walked around the house and looked into a rear bedroom of the home. The complaint states they found two men, Contreras and Lancman. Authorities said Lancman was digging through a dresser and jewelry boxes and handing items to Contreras.

When officers made contact with the two men, Contreras allegedly fled from the house and ran down the street. An officer ran down Contreras and arrested him, the complaint states. Another officer arrested Lancman as he tried to run from the residence.

The complaint states Lancman told police that Contreras asked him if he wanted to make some money. A person Lancman knew had rented a U-Haul and drove the two men to the house. The two men told police they broke into the house.

If convicted, Contreras and Lancman each face up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.


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