Edina, Hopkins Police Have Suspect in Two-City Crime Spree
No arrest has been made, but police believe a 20-year-old Hopkins man is responsible for the recent surge of burglaries and thefts from vehicles.
Police with multiple agencies are on the hunt for a Hopkins man they believe is responsible for a massive number of burglaries and thefts from vehicles in both Edina and Hopkins.
Edina Police Det. Dave Carlson said a 20-year-old Hopkins man is likely responsible for at least 25 incidents in Edina since early June, in addition to a number of similar crimes in Hopkins. Carlson said the suspect is black, approximately 5'7" and 158 lbs., with cornrows in the back of his hair. He typically rides around on a 10-speed bicycle with the handlebars turned the wrong way.
Police believe the suspect rides his bike south on Blake Road from Hopkins, then takes the path behind The Blake School to slip into the neighborhoods silently.
"The good news is I know where he is," Carlson said. "Every cop in Edina and Hopkins is out looking for him. He has no place to go. If he goes out at night, the cops know him and we will get him."
Officials with the Edina Police Department met with residents of the targeted neighborhood—bordered by Washington Avenue to the west, 2nd Street to the north, Blake Road to the east and Maloney Avenue to the south—Thursday, July 26, at the Edina Senior Center to discuss the surge in burglaries as well as preventative measures.
In total, Edina Police said 15 burglaries and 10 thefts from auto have taken place in the area since June 10. All of the incidents were crimes of opportunity, with a whopping 73 percent reportedly involving unlocked doors or windows to cars, garages and residences. They happened largely between midnight and 4 a.m.
Crime Prevention Specialist Molly Anderson said the series of crimes is "very unusual for (Edina)." She noted the suspect was entering homes while they were occupied, but said he fled the scene the one time he was confronted by residents.
"That's very typical," Anderson said. "They don't want to enter a home where they think someone is going to confront them."
Police managed to recover a small piece of a tank top from one of the crime scenes and—following DNA testing—hope to match it to their suspect. Edina Police Chief Jeff Long said that could eventually be useful evidence, but noted DNA testing could take several months.
Carlson said the Hopkins man has a number of prior crimes on his record, though none of them involved any violence.
"He's a real piece of work," Carlson said. "He stole from his grandmother twice. He's kind of a loner, though he does run with other people from time to time. Hopkins Police are quite familiar with him."
Chief Long urged residents to remain vigilant, noting the suspect's past history of taking breaks between bouts of crime.
"We have all of our resources on this right now," Long said. "We're coming in early, we're staying late. This is our top priority right now."