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Charges: Machete-wielding man stole from Targets around the Twin Cities

The suspect used the weapon to cut tags off items and intimidate people.
Abdikadir Ayanle Ali

A Minneapolis man is accused of using a machete to steal from Target stores around the Twin Cities.

Charges filed in Ramsey County against Abdikadir Ayanle Ali say the 32-year-old started his spree on Nov. 10, 2018. According to the complaint:

He took the machete - which he later told police he'd stolen from Walmart - into the Target Express on Ford Parkway in St. Paul that day, where he stole more than $600 worth of merchandise.

The next day he went to the Target on 1300 West Lake Street in Minneapolis, and used the machete to cut security packaging off a cellphone. When an employee confronted him, Ali pointed the machete in her direction and told her to get back.

Four days later, he was back at the Ford Parkway Target Express, this time removing security tags from clothes before fleeing with $1,700 in merchandise. Store security apparently spotted Ali, but didn't take action because of the machete.

He hit the same store again on Nov. 23, this time filling a duffel bag with $414.91 worth of goods after using a knife to remove the security straps, and on Nov. 28 he nabbed five cellphones from a display at the University Avenue Target.

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Nearly a month later he hit the Ford Parkway location again, filling a duffel bag with items and leaving with it.

Surveillance footage found him carrying out robberies at a dozen locations in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. And in interviews with police, Ali said he stole from the Midway Target at least 10 times. He also said he hit the Midway Walmart, TJ Maxx, and other retailers.

Ali also told police he was addicted to meth, and stole to support his habit. In addition, he said he never threatened anyone with the machete, but only used it to intimidate people.

He's charged with four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery, and faces up to 20 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine for each.

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