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Man in custody for Mounds View burglaries
Police have arrested a Mounds View man in connection to a string of recent burglaries that have taken place in the city.
Juan Junius, 21, was arrested and taken into custody on Friday, Feb. 15 from his home at the Scotland Court Apartments in Mounds View.
Mounds View Police Chief Tom Kinney said that investigators obtained a search warrant from the Ramsey County District Court after receiving lab results from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) lab. The BCA confirmed that fingerprints left on soda bottles recovered from a stolen vehicle matched Junius’s fingerprints on file.
Investigators executed the search warrant and recovered shoes from Junius’s apartment that matched footprints found at five different burglary scenes, a spare set of keys to the stolen car as well as several stolen items from burglaries, according to a criminal complaint issued by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Kinney said that Junius has been charged with one count of burglary and one count of motor vehicle theft, which he admitted to in a post-Miranda interview. Junius also admitted to four additional burglaries and one other auto theft in Mounds View.
“He was surprised with the evidence we had against him,” Kinney said. “We are working on charging him with the other crimes he confessed to committing and are continuing to investigate the other burglaries.”
The police chief said that it is not yet clear how many homes Junius broke in to, but said that he was not acting alone. Officers at the scene of the Jan. 16 burglary identified two different sets of footprints left in the snowy yard around the home. Based on those footprints it appears that the individuals peeked in through windows to determine whether or not anyone was home before kicking in a door and stealing items from the home.
More than a dozen similar burglaries were reported in Mounds View between the last week of December and the end of January.
The burglaries had all taken place while homeowners were gone --some for days and others for just a couple of hours -- and in all cases the intruders got inside the homes through forced entry.
The string of burglaries were reported in the following areas: 2600 block of Lake Court Circle, 5100 block of Eastwood Road, 7700 block of Knollwood Drive, 7700 block of Groveland Road, 5300 block of Clifton Drive and the 7700 block of Bona Road.
The home that Junius has been charged with breaking into is on the 7700 block of Groveland Road.
The criminal complaint stated that the homeowners on Knollwood reported several pieces of jewelry, a wristwatch, a gold pendant blessed by Pope John Paul, a spare set of keys to a Buick Regal and $500 in cash were among items stolen from the home.
Police officers found the stolen Buick a few days after the Jan. 16 burglary, but the other items have reportedly not been recovered.
Kinney said that items reported stolen from other homes in the area were mostly electronic items like TV’s and jewelry — items that can be easily pawned for quick cash. The police department attempts to monitor the sales of stolen items at pawnshops, but the process is often difficult, Kinney said. Electronic items such as TV’s have serial numbers that police can sometimes track, however, most jewelry sales go undetected, he explained.
The police department continues to investigate the burglaries in Mounds View. Kinney said they believe there is at least one other individual involved
“The Mounds View Police Department has really done a great job with this investigation,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. “They have worked diligently in finding an individual responsible for these crimes.”
Kinney said that the number of reported burglaries this winter is somewhat unusual for Mounds View. They typically see an uptick in burglaries -- especially from unlocked garages -- in the warmer months, but cold weather often deters criminals from going outside and committing these types of crimes. He said in recent years Mounds View has averaged around five or six reported burglaries per month.
The Mounds View Police Department recommends taking the following common sense precautions for your own home security -- keep doors and windows locked at all times (sliding doors and windows should have a bar or other device to prevent them from opening), keep curtains or blinds closed at night or when away from home, and do not leave valuables such as wallets, checkbooks and phones in view to the outside.
The police chief advises people be on the look out for suspicious activity, such as persons lingering outside on the street who look out of place, or individuals sitting in a parked car for extended periods of time.
Joshua Nielsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7824.