Serial Shoe-Store Robber Bought Airsoft Gun at Fridley Walmart, Police Say

Man who led Shakopee Police on high-speed chase also suspected of robbing another shoe store in Coon Rapids.

Police say the man who Monday robbed Famous Footwear in Shakopee is also a suspect in a robbery at Payless Shoes in Coon Rapids Saturday.

Video from the Fridley Walmart store on Saturday evening shows the suspect purchasing an Airsoft pistol matching the weapon used the same evening in the Coon Rapids robbery, according to Coon Rapids Police Capt. John Hattstrom.

Police have identified the suspect arrested Monday as a 42-year-old from Savage, but Hattstrom said he may have lived in Fridley recently and may soon be transferred to Anoka County jail.

Saturday in Coon Rapids and Fridley
Store video captured the suspect buying the gun in the sporting goods department at the Walmart store in Fridley on Saturday evening, according to Hattstrom.

Coon Rapids police got a report of an armed robbery at Payless Shoes at 8:51 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, according to Hattstrom, two "unwitting customers" who arrived after the incident were in the store, and two employees were in the restroom, where the suspect had put them. No one was injured and the suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

K9 units led the police search south into Fridley, including in the area of the Springbrook Apartments. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Fridley Police Department, assisted in the response, but they did not locate a suspect. 

A commenter at the Fridley Patch Facebook page reported "police blocking at University NE and 81st" and Police Clips posted scanner audio about the incident.

Monday in Shakopee and Savage
Shakopee police got a report of an armed robbery at Famous Footwear at 11:29 a.m. Monday. According to a news release from the Shakopee Police Department:

The suspect displayed a black handgun. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and safe, and the employee’s purse and cell phone. No one was injured in the Famous Footwear robbery.

Later that day a routine traffic stop of what turned out to be the suspect in his vehicle led to a high-speed pursuit ending with a dramatic standoff in the parking lot of a Target store in Savage. According to the news release:

Eventually, the suspect entered the Target parking lot in Savage where he was stopped after vehicle to vehicle contact by police disabled his vehicle. At that point, a lengthy standoff took place. The suspect refused to get out of the vehicle, refused officers orders to show both his hands and told officers he had a gun in the vehicle. An officer fired multiple less lethal projectiles at the suspect. The suspect was hit multiple times, yet refused to follow officers’ commands. At one point, the suspect looked at the officer, said “shoot me” and pointed his own hand at his head. The suspect said he wanted to talk to his wife to tell her goodbye. Eventually, the suspect did exit the vehicle and surrendered to police. The suspect has been identified as a 42 years old male from Savage.

christina January 10, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Its so unfortunate that it only takes one person to misuse an airsoft gun for them to immediately get a bad rep! I wish more people would take the time to research and really learn the safety of airsoft guns like I did at http://www.airsplat.com/documents.asp?Link=airsoft-safety they even have great youtube videos and everything!!


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