MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man who broke into more than 40 homes over a three year period will now be spending the next 11 in prison.
David Pollard received that sentence after he was convicted this week on burglary charges. Police say he hit more than 40 homes in 19 towns across the Twin Cities. They estimate he stole more than a million dollars worth of belongings.
Now, investigators say Pollard picked his victims in a way they hadn’t seen.
When most people go to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, they’re looking for a good show and good food. But police say for several years someone was visiting the Minnesota landmark for the wrong reasons.
“He did his research. He’s a fairly intelligent individual,” Lt. David Becker of the Eden Prairie Police Department said.
Police say Pollard would go to the theater, wait in the parking lot to watch who would go inside, then write down their license plates.
“And then run them through this database that he had a subscription to and get their information — their personal information — which included, generally, their address,” Lt. Becker said.
Once Pollard had the victim’s address, he knew they’d be inside the theater for several hours, giving him plenty of time to break into their homes.
“He was a little more savvy on the front end, but once we figured things out we were able to catch him,” Lt. Becker said.
First they noticed the theater theme between the victims. After catching him on surveillance cameras, Lt. Becker and several other undercover officers with Eden Prairie Police followed him to The Guthrie Theater parking lot in downtown Minneapolis. Lt. Becker said they wanted to take the lead on the case because several of the victims lived in Eden Prairie.
“We saw him watching vehicles, taking down license plates and then he left,” he said.
Investigators said they followed him to a Minnetonka neighborhood where they caught him in the act of burglarizing a home. Lt. Becker said after a car and foot chase, Pollard was arrest.
“He’s pretty smart, and I think he’s also fairly arrogant,” Lt. Becker said. “And yes, he was surprised that he got caught.”
Investigators said Pollard often stole personal items that often were irreplaceable such as a 100-year-old violin passed down between generations in one family. Lt. Becker said he was determined to end Pollard’s three year run of burglaries.
“It’s a good feeling,” Lt. Becker said. “He was a prolific burglar and we spent a lot of time working this case. It’s good to see this conclusion.”
In addition to serving time, he has to pay $30,000 in restitution to his victims.