STORE SECURITY HELPS SOLVE ROBBERY by; Rick McCann www.privateofficer.com


Burnsville MN. Oct. 14, 2007


Just as easily as customers walk in every day, two men came in through the doors of the Kohl's department store in Burnsville just after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 9th, and stole eighty-thousand dollars worth of diamonds. One was wielding a sledgehammer.

Burnsville Police Sergeant Rich Flaten says such bold robberies in his city are rare. He says, "This is very unusual for them to come into an occupied business during business hours and brazenly break the cases."

Burnsville Police believe 21 year old Taylor Gordon of Burnsville and 31 year old Gary Lee Delon Thomas of Eagan entered the store wearing sweatshirts with the hoods tied tightly around their faces. The criminal complaint says the robbers told two cashiers and customer, "Nobody move. Nobody gets hurt."It says the robbers then smashed glass jewelry cases with the sledgehammer, taking about 130 wedding rings and other diamond jewelry before running out the door.

We spoke with the manager of the Burnsville Kohl's store today but he declined comment.It was information from a Kohl's loss prevention agent, and the store's security cameras, that helped police quickly identify the suspects.Flaten says the security agent, "went back and looked at video footage from a couple days before and observed that the same individuals that were in there and did the robbery had been involved in coming through and looked like casing the place a couple days prior."The complaint says the security agent had written down a license plate number for the suspicious men a few days before. Then, on the night of the robbery, a vehicle with the same plate was spotted by police near Kohl's.Police used that information to arrest the suspects in Saint Paul the next day.Flaten says, "They found on them, as well as with them, jewelry items similar to what was taken from Kohl's.Police also found a sledgehammer and jewelry items in the vehicle in addition to marijuana. Gordon and Thomas were charged Friday with felony first degree aggravated robbery. They remain in the Dakota County jail. Police say the suspects could still be charged with additional felonies


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