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Burglary thwarted when suspect 'butt-dials' police

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An attempted burglary at a Maplewood business went awry when one of the suspects pocket-dialed 911, and a police dispatcher listened in while they talked about their plan, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Todd Weiss, 32, of Minnetonka and Justin Evans, 38, of Savage were each charged with one count of felony burglary.

Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said the incident occurred early the morning of April 1, when the dispatcher got a 911 hang-up call, then another call shortly afterward from the same number using the phone’s emergency-call feature.

The call stayed open the second time, and the dispatcher could hear parts of the conversation between the two men regarding the odds of getting caught, KSTP reports. The dispatcher could also see where the call was coming from, and sent officers to a car-repair shop at White Bear Avenue and County Road D.

The officers saw two men leaving the shop carrying a television and a box. When the suspects saw the police, they dropped the items and ran away. They were arrested a short time later in a nearby parking lot with the help of police dogs, KSTP reports.

Evans said he had taken 15 Xanax pills, according to the criminal complaint. He appeared to be under the influence of a substance and repeatedly said he didn't do anything, according to officers.

Both men's criminal histories include burglary and theft, according to Minnesota court records.

There are many other stories out there of crimes foiled by a mistimed butt dial. A columnist at Slate.com regularly writes about "dumb criminals" and he wrote recently about a murder plot that was discovered through a butt dial – to the intended victim.

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