Suspect arrested in connection to St. Paul burglaries, including at the Gnome

The man arrested is suspected in at least six other burglaries in the area.
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A 57-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a Jan. 24 burglary at The Gnome in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood.

According to the St. Paul Police Department, an investigator identified the suspect and worked with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office who found him at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday in a vehicle parked on the 100 block of Acker Street East and arrested him.

The case against the man, who has no known address, has been forwarded to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, which is reviewing the case against him. 

The man is also suspected in at least six other burglaries, St. Paul PD spokesperson Steve Linders told the Pioneer Press.

“I’m incredibly proud of our investigator's exceptional work on this case," St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said in a statement. "She was relentless, diligent and thorough. And once she ID'd the suspect, she quickly connected with our partners, including the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies made the arrest."

In the Jan. 24 burglary at The Gnome, the suspect broke in and apparently tried to get into the restaurant's safe but was unsuccessful. Instead, he left with staff members' personal belongings, the restaurant's co-owner Brian Ingram said.

The police incident report from that day said someone called the police at 4:04 p.m. to report a theft, but no other details were provided. 

Last week, Ingram said the Gnome was burglarized again, this time thieves stealing their safe on Feb. 7. It marked the fourth time in recent months where one of his restaurants was broken into. 

In a series of social media posts, Ingram criticized police, Mayor Melvin Carter, St. Paul City Council members and Gov. Tim Walz for "staying silent" about the increase in crimes and violence in the area, saying he's "disgusted" by what's happening in the city and the lack of support from local officials. 

The St. Paul Police Department in a tweet Friday said:

"According to St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell, the case is a great example of the unwavering commitment our officers and investigators have to serving the people who live and work in St. Paul – especially crime victims."

Ingram in a Facebook post on Friday said the arrest is "great news," saying "they discovered he was also part of the second robbery as well."

"Huge thank you to everyone that provided tips and information. Amazing things can happen when business owners and community members work together and share information," he continued. "The folks that have been hitting all of our businesses are career criminals with dozens of arrests."

Commercial burglaries are up this year compared to the same time last year in the SPPD's Western District, which includes Cathedral Hill, according to the department. In January, the district had 30 commercial burglaries, while in January 2020 there were 23.

Meanwhile, residential burglaries are down compared to last year in the Western District. In January 2020, there were 66 residential burglaries. In January of this year, there were 42. 

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