Three men from Texas are accused of burglarizing five fast-food restaurants in the western Twin Cities suburbs on Tuesday morning.
Jamaill Daray Gibbs, 30, Trevion Dewayne Green, 27, and Jordan De Mel Duplechin, 28, all of Houston, Texas, were charged Thursday in Hennepin County with eight burglary-related felonies each in connection to the burglaries at Wendy's and Taco Bell restaurants in Plymouth and Minnetonka on March 22.
Gibbs and Green were arrested and booked into jail on the afternoon of March 22, while an arrest warrant has been issued for Duplechin, jail and court records show.
The men are accused of burglarizing the four fast-food restaurants by smashing the drive-through windows to get inside and then breaking into the restaurants' safes to steal money, the charges allege. They're also suspected to have been involved in a burglary at a Taco Bell in Buffalo.
According to the criminal complaints, Minnetonka police responded to Wendy's at 12950 Wayzata Blvd. on March 22 after being informed of a burglary through the drive-through window that happened at 1:13 a.m. Officers found the window had been shattered, the office had been rummaged through, the safe had been cut into with a tool, and money from inside was stolen.
Police then were called to the Taco Bell, 12320 Wayzata Blvd., about a half-mile away, where police discovered the drive-through window had been shattered to get inside the restaurant, charges said. The suspects went through the safe and stole money. Surveillance video showed the suspects running away from the Taco Bell at 2:06 a.m.
Taco Bell had surveillance video of the incident that showed two men go through the shattered window. Then the men, wearing gloves and masks, used bright green grinder tools to get inside the safe.
Then, Golden Valley police notified the Minnetonka PD about a traffic stop they made at 2:36 a.m. on March 22 on a Jeep Grand Cherokee with Texas license plates for driving without headlights. There were three people in the vehicle and it was searched after police noticed a "green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in plain view," court documents allege. Police also found a "large amount" of loose bills in the center console, gloves, and a backpack containing two bright green grinders and grinding wheels.
Gibbs was identified as the driver, while Green and Duplechin were identified as the backseat passengers, the complaints said. The three men were let go at 3:02 a.m. as the burglaries had not yet been reported, the complaint states.
Then, Plymouth police responded to two separate burglary calls at Wendy's, 9850 Rockford Road, and Taco Bell, 9900 Rockford Road, in which the suspects broke in through the drive-through window and stole money from the safe.
Surveillance video from these incidents showed the Jeep parked at a gas station near Taco Bell and Wendy's at about 3:16 a.m. Two suspects then approached the Taco Bell at 3:18 a.m., broke in through the drive-through window and "belly crawled" to the safe, charges state. They left the Taco Bell via the drive-through window at 3:24 a.m. and walked toward the nearby Wendy's. At 3:27 a.m., the suspects broke in through the drive-through window and "belly crawled" to the safe. Then at 3:35 a.m. they left the Wendy's through the drive-through window.
Charges say the three suspects then went on to burglarize a Taco Bell in Buffalo.
Authorities compared surveillance video from the Minnetonka incident to the Plymouth incidents and noted the suspects were wearing the same clothing and shoes, and they used the same backpack and tools, which appeared to be a green Ryobi grinding saw, charges said.
The suspects' Jeep was eventually located at the Mall of America. Two men, identified as Gibbs and Green, were arrested when they returned to the vehicle, the complaint says. Duplechin was not there.
Police obtained a search warrant for Gibbs' phone and discovered text messages between him and Duplechin, which included the address to a Grandstay Hotel in Delano, charges allege. Police searched the hotel room, which was rented under Gibbs' name, for Duplechin but he wasn't there. Police did find a backpack with two Ryobi grinding tools, grinding wheels, gloves, and shoes that matched what the suspects were wearing at the time of the burglaries.
The charges say Green and Duplechin were the two men who went into the fast-food restaurants, while Gibbs appears to be the getaway driver.
Gibbs, Green and Duplechin are each charged with two counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of third-degree burglary in connection to the Minnetonka incidents and two counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of third-degree burglary each in the Plymouth incidents.
Gibbs and Green are scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon. Bail was set at $60,000 each for the Minnetonka cases and $60,000 each for the Plymouth cases.
Duplechin has not been arrested. He is currently on probation in Texas for assaulting a police officer, charges said.
Charges have not been filed against Gibbs, Green or Duplechin in Wright County in connection to the Buffalo Taco Bell burglary as of this writing.
Meanwhile, Minnetonka police told FOX 9 similar burglaries were reported at the same fast-food chains in Fargo and West Fargo, and they're being investigated as possibly connected to the Twin Cities incidents.