HAM LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Police say they found a teenager who invaded a home in Ham Lake and robbed a couple at gunpoint thanks to a Craigslist advertisement.

A man with a handgun busted into the home on the 1000 block of 173rd Lane NE early last Thursday morning, and took cash and other items from the couple who were there.

“They were awakened by the male, brandishing a gun and pointing it at the two complainants and demanding cash and property. He basically held them at bay with a gun while committing this crime,” said Commander Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department.

On Wednesday, one of the victims noticed a listing for a camera on Craigslist that matched the one that had been stolen the week before.

“There’s virtually thousands of cameras listed on Craigslist,” said Commander Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. “But there was a certain way (the victims) had attached a strap to their camera that made it unique to all the others out there, so they were fairly certain it was their camera.”

He called the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, which set up a meeting with the seller, a 17-year-old boy from Andover.

An undercover officer met the teen at a McDonald’s, where the officer confirmed it was the stolen camera. The teen was arrested, and deputies say they found a gun in his car.

A search of the teen’s home uncovered more property from the robbery. The boy’s parents cooperated with authorities, according to the sheriff’s office.

“If this person at this age is willing to go to these extremes there’s no telling at what point he would have stopped,” Sommer added.

Charges are pending.


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