MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 32-year-old man is accused of stealing metal pipes from at least six Twin Cities businesses that were valued at more than $1,700, according to charges filed Tuesday in Dakota County Court.
Mikael Jerald Carlson was charged with one count of aggregating theft in connection with the incidents, which happened in late June and early July.
According to the charges, Eagan Police were called on June 22 by a manager of an Eagan restaurant after she noticed that a metal pipe was missing from a toilet in the bathroom. Surveillance video captured a man, later identified as Carlson, taking metal pipe to his vehicle at about 12:55 p.m. on June 21.
The manager later spoke with the area manager for the restaurant chain, who said there was a similar incident at another Eagan location on June 20. The same area manager reported a third incident from another Eagan restaurant where a metal pipe was taken out of the bathroom, the complaint states.
Eagan Police then sent out a tri-county alert that included surveillance footage of Carlson and his vehicle. Within 30 minutes of the alert being public, Blaine Police called about a similar theft case with a vehicle matching the one involved in the three others. The license plate on the vehicle came back as Carlson’s, according to the complaint.
Eagan Police set up surveillance on Carlson’s vehicle and tracked him to three businesses in Roseville on July 5. After Carlson left all the businesses, authorities confirmed that metal piping was missing from the toilets at all three locations. Authorities stopped Carlson before his next attempt and took him into custody.
Police said pipes were in his vehicle along with two screwdrivers and a wrench that were believed to be used in the thefts. When interviewed by police, Carlson admitted to stealing pipes from three Eagan restaurants, businesses in Eagan and the three Roseville thefts on July 5. He’s also linked to other incidents in Dakota, Hennepin and Anoka Counties.
Authorities said the value of the pipes stolen from the three restaurant locations in Eagan were valued at $1,779.85. If convicted, Carlson faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.