Police believe fugitive Ty Hoffman robbed bank in Blaine Sunday


Police believe a man wanted for the murder of Minneapolis businessman Kelly Phillips last month robbed a bank in Blaine on Sunday. Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, 44, has been on the run since Phillips was shot to death in the parking lot of a gas station in Arden Hills Aug. 11.

Police said Monday afternoon they believe Hoffman is the man who robbed the bank. They spent several hours searching for him near the airport in Blaine, but ended the effort at about 6 p.m. Monday evening, the Star Tribune reports.

Police had searched for Hoffman at the Blaine airport shortly after the shooting after his car was found in that area, but did not find him at that time.

The Blaine Police Department and Ramsey County Sheriff issued news releases earlier Monday saying a man robbed the TCF Bank on County Road 10 NE in Blaine at gunpoint at about 2 p.m. Sunday, and made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Surveillance cameras at the bank captured the suspect on video, and he appears to match the description of Hoffman. He had a beard and was wearing a white t-shirt, a baseball-style cap and glasses.

Police searched the immediate area after the robbery but didn't find the suspect. A red dye packet which was concealed with the money may have stained the money as well as the robber, authorities say.

Authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for Hoffman, and friends and family are offering a reward of $25,000 for any information leading to his arrest. A sighting in Thunder Bay earlier this month turned out to be a false alarm, according to the Pioneer Press.

Hoffman and Phillips were business partners and life partners for several years, and together they opened the Lush night club in Minneapolis. Phillips was also an executive at Boston Scientific. Police believe Hoffman killed Phillips after a falling out over the business.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office issued a revised wanted poster for Hoffman, which reflects the increased reward.

Blaine Police and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident in conjunction with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the FBI.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 911 or anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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