MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Ham Lake man was charged Monday in connection to two home invasions in which women were assaulted.

Jory Wiebrand, 34, is suspected in at least 10 total cases between 2013 and 2020 in the same Minneapolis neighborhoods as well as Anoka County, according to the complaint. Authorities say they expect more charges to be filed, perhaps as soon as this week.

It took 12 different teams within the Minneapolis Police Department and a host of outside agencies to find and charge Wiebrand.

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“Everyone we talked to within the department wanted to help. Everyone wanted to do their part to help find this person,” said Lt. Darcy Horn with the Minneapolis Police Sex Crimes Unit.

Investigators spent countless hours piecing together information they hoped would lead them to a person responsible for targeting women in the Dinkytown and Marcy Holmes neighborhoods.

“They would think about it during their off duty time, thinking, wondering: is it something they missed, is there something more they could do,” said Horn.

But eventually, fingerprint evidence led the police to Wiebrand.

According to the criminal complaints, a woman was sleeping in her home in the 800 block of Fifth Street Southeast on June 2, 2019 when a man put his hands over her mouth and another around her neck. She said she fought against him, but eventually he was able to escape out of the front door with her cash and credit cards.

At the scene, investigators found a garbage can pushed up underneath a broken window. Investigators said they later found Wiebrand’s fingerprint on it after testing.

Jory Wiebrand (credit: Minneapolis Police)

Two months later and about two blocks away, another woman was attacked on the 700 block of Fourth Street Southeast on the morning of Aug. 7, 2019. The intruder — later identified as Wiebrand — grabbed her as she got out of the shower. He then threw her on to the bed and sexually assaulted her.

Police say the woman fought against her attacker and kicked him in the stomach at one point. The attacker responded by pepper-spraying her face. The complaint says she continued to struggle and he eventually left.

She later provided a description of Wiebrand, and a sex assault examination found DNA, which when compared to Wiebrand’s could not exclude him but could exclude up to 99.99998% of the human population.

Wiebrand faces charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal sexual assault, and criminal predatory conduct. The charges stem from a June 2, 2019 break-in and another incident on Aug. 7, 2019.

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In a statement Monday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said:

These charges are the result of excellent police work by a number of agencies and we expect to file charges in additional cases soon,” Freeman said. “Until last week, Mr. Wiebrand’s DNA was not on file with any police agency, so developing a fingerprint and getting a match from an earlier, unrelated arrest allowed police to identify him as a suspect and seek a search warrant to obtain his DNA.While we need to prove his guilt in court, if we are successful, we will seek an enhanced sentence so he will be unable to terrorize women for a long time.

A date for Wiebrand’s first court appearance has yet to be set. If convicted, he could spend as many as 25 years in prison.

Reg Chapman

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