MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 24-year-old St. Paul man is facing charges after allegedly attempting to steal merchandise from a West St. Paul Menard’s and causing damage at the store while fleeing, according to charges filed in Dakota County Court.
Dillon James Hunt was charged with first-degree criminal damage to property and attempted theft in connection with the July 24 incident.
According to the charges, West St. Paul police were called at about 9:30 p.m. on a report of an attempted theft at Menard’s. Store employees told officers a while male in his early 20s with a shaved head had filled a container with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise. The suspect, identified as Hunt, then put the container in the lumber yard area.
The complaint states a store manager and other employees saw him go into the lumber yard with a small white passenger car and start placing items in the vehicle. Employees confronted Hunt, who fled at a high rate of speed through the lumber yard and into the garden center before crashing into a metal security gate. He was able to exit the store on Thompson Avenue before being caught.
According to the complaint, Hunt was seen on surveillance video walking around the store and putting items in the container. After leaving the container in the garden center, he is seen going back into the store to buy a few items before leaving the store. He is then seen in the lumber yard area with the vehicle and being stopped by employees.
Authorities say the damaged caused to the garden center when he fled is estimated at more than $1,700. The items will in the container that were recovered were estimated at nearly $1,400 in value.
If convicted, Hunt faces up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.