Skip to main content

'I'll burn your faces off': Pair used blowtorch to steal hammocks, charges say

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A group of friends hanging out at a south Minneapolis park late one night were accosted by a man armed with a blowtorch, who used it to sever the ropes suspending their hammocks.

The group was at Triangle Park by Lake Nokomis at around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, when they were approached by a man – later identified as Andrew Sobaski – bearing a blowtorch who said he was going to "burn your faces off."

According to a criminal complaint:

"Victims scattered but remained close enough to observe that the man was accompanied by a female accomplice and the man used the blowtorch to burn ropes suspending victims' hammocks. The woman then shined a flashlight on the ground while the man gathered the victims' property."

Sobaski, 28, of Minneapolis, and his alleged accomplice, Johnna Vanguilder, 29, of St. Paul, were tracked down after members of the community began blogging about the incident, including general descriptions of the suspects.

A neighbor observed people matching the descriptions on Aug. 4 and reported it. Vanguilder and Sobaski – who lives near the park on the 5500 block of 14th Ave. S – were detained by officers.

Police found a Starbucks gift card and a can of Deep Woods Off insect repellent, both of which were among items stolen from the group on July 31.

The pair have both been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and are being held in jail awaiting a court appearance on Sept. 27.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.01.17 AM

Woman breaks free after being kidnapped and taken to Brooklyn Park

The woman was taken by force as she arrived at her work in Plymouth.

image

How the fastest animal on the planet returned to MN after local extinction

The fastest animal on Earth had once vanished from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

image

St. Paul's new 'skate trail' brings non-traditional park to life

Gateway Park is the first of four parks to open in the Highland Bridge redevelopment.

FWDqyh6UEAENgIG

80 mph winds, large hail possible with severe storms in MN

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for much of the state until 3 a.m. Saturday.

290376311_5009722282489162_198055240351933487_n

30 people evacuated as flooding hammers small town

It's assumed that at least eight inches of rain fell in Randall, with more heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

Related

MSP Magazine: Hammock happy

It seems everyone is buzzing about hammocks lately. Call it a trend (that’s been around forever) or maybe it just happens to come up with this blazing hot, endless summer thing we have going on. Whatever it is, nothing says vacation at home more than a hammock in the backyard.

Mother, uncle of burn victim charged with stealing recovery fund

This summer Antoine Willis suffered life-threatening burns when he was doused with gas and set on fire, allegedly by his mother's boyfriend. The story inspired contributions to a recovery fund for the 19-year-old. Now his mother and uncle are accused of stealing the $2,500 in that fund and spending it on gambling and drugs.

Woman charged with stealing jewelry off children's necks in St. Paul

Prosecutors say 26-year-old Tria Moua approached the children and persuaded them to go with her into her van. It was when they got out of the van that the victims realized their jewelry was missing. Police say no children reported being harmed.