ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Police made some quick arrests after several musical instruments were stolen from local college campuses.
On Friday, St. Paul Police asked for the public’s help in locating a couple suspected in the burglaries.
A few hours later, Sgt. Paul Paulos received a phone call from Richfield Police, who said they had the couple in custody.
“Richfield got information off their Tri-Metro Crime Alert,” Paulos said. “They read it, and lo and behold, the people were traveling through town. They stopped the car and apprehended them.”
The couple, identified as Michael Joseph Lippert and Nicole Marie Korolchuk, allegedly took the instruments from Hamline University, Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas over the past two weeks.
They then pawned some of the instruments using their own identification. The serial numbers of those instruments and the couple’s names were then entered into the automated pawn system, which sent out an alert.
Mike Barrett, associate director of public safety for St. Thomas, says the thieves took a guitar and two trombones. The instruments have since been recovered.
“The last remaining item we’re missing from the University of St. Thomas is the second trombone,” Barrett said. “It’s owned by the University, and it’s a $6,000 Yamaha.”
Barrett says on Nov. 4, surveillance video from the school showed two males taking the guitar. On Nov. 13, another video was captured, showing a man and a woman taking the trombones.
Investigators say in addition to the stolen instruments, the couple is also suspected of stealing jewelry, electronics and power tools from real estate open houses in the metro.
“They would go to open houses in residential areas, and when they were walking around unattended they would go through and take jewelry…even possible medications,” Paulos said. “Whatever they could pocket or conceal on their bodies, and then leave the house with it.”
Barrett says the burglaries were bold and troubling because of the number of schools they were able to hit.