The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported the following BEST OF incidents during 2016: 

 

by Loretta B. Harding

Contributing Writer 

The button, the button; who’s got the button? 

A Forest Lake woman, 22, was arrested at 1:01 a.m. Jan. 28 on Frenchman Road and Oneka Parkway on a narcotic charge after deputies pulled her vehicle over for a missing license plate and smelled a strong odor of marijuana. When deputies asked her and the other occupant whether there was an illegal substance in the vehicle, both occupants said no. Deputies said, “I can smell it; where is it?” After a search, the marijuana turned up in a bag at the feet of the subject, along with drug paraphernalia.

 

The case of the Vanishing Vodka.

 A Hugo woman, 60, was mailed a citation for theft at 8:52 a.m. April 6 after she and her sister stole two bottles of liquor from On The Rocks Wine & Spirits on Victor Hugo Blvd. N. After being advised to watch out for the two women, employees at their former place of employment observed them buy a bottle of wine, then proceed to the hard liquor aisle. Video surveillance showed the $11 bottle of Phillips vodka that the subject picked up completely disappear when she turned around. Video evidence also shows an $11 bottle of Windsor Canadian whiskey disappear into her sister’s purse. 

 

Somebody needs a speed bag.

 A Circle Pines man, 22, was cited at 11:04 p.m. April 13 in the 15000 block of Forest Blvd. N. for disorderly conduct and fourth-degree criminal damage to property after “hanging out” and becoming intoxicated before punching out everything in sight and leaving with his girlfriend. The subject punched the concrete exterior of a wash house, the windows on his vehicle and his friend’s 32-inch flat screen TV.

 

Just another day at the office. 

One Domino’s pizza delivery driver backed into another Domino’s pizza delivery driver at 7:58 p.m. April 29 in the parking lot in the 14000 block of Forest Blvd. N., after the driver backing up didn’t see the other driver right behind him waiting to drive into his parking spot. Minor damage was sustained by one of the vehicles.

 

Yes, and what else? 

A Hugo man, 27, was arrested at 2:15 a.m. April 30 on Geneva Avenue N. and 147th Street N. for second-degree DWI and failure to provide proof of insurance, after deputies observed him make an unusually wide turn northbound from Frenchman Road and fail to stay within his lane. Deputies smelled alcohol, and the subject confirmed that he had had two beers. The subject tested .20 on the field sobriety test. Deputies seized the subject’s license plates due to a previous DWI conviction in 2011.

 

They don’t make driver’s ed teachers like they used to. 

A Forest Lake youth was issued a verbal warning at 4:06 p.m. June 4 on 157th Avenue N. and Foxhill Avenue N. for expired tabs after being pulled over for turning in front of eastbound deputies and forcing them to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. The youth’s father, riding shotgun and supervising his son’s driving practice, was issued an insurance request form for failure to provide proof of insurance. If the father doesn’t submit the form in a timely manner, he will be cited. 

 

Caveat Emptor. 

A patron of the Super America station on Forest Blvd. N. at 7:19 p.m. June 7 reported being approached by a short, dark-haired man in his 40’s with a shaggy beard trying to sell a set of new speakers. After reducing the asking price from $700 to $250, the complainant bought the speakers, which were sealed in a box that had never been opened. When the box was opened for the first time ever, the complainant found a set of old speakers filled with concrete cinder blocks.

 

But we can. 

A Hugo man, 20, was arrested at 12:00 p.m. June 17 at the Super America on Forest Blvd. N. when he threatened an employee who wouldn’t sell him cigarettes, saying he had a gun. As deputies packed him into the squad car, he yelled, “You can’t arrest me!” He was then transported to jail.

Smart key/challenged owner. 

A black Toyota Highlander was reported stolen overnight June 28-29 from an open garage in the 4000 block of Cosette Lane N. The smart key to the vehicle was left in a cup holder.  The complainant’s other vehicle was also rummaged through overnight.

 

Reader, not customers, cheats gas station. 

Six gas drive-offs from the Super America station on Forest Blvd. N. dating from mid-June were reported at 8:36 a.m. July 14. Deputies located all six registered owners and contacted four of them, all of whom agreed to return to the station and pay. Videos from the station showed all six motorists swiping their cards at the pump and continuing on, not realizing the machine didn’t accept their cards. Deputies advised the station owner to make adjustments to the pump so that patrons know when their machine switches to “cash only.”  The gas station reported another drive-off at 8:29 a.m. July 19. 

 

Suspect arrested after being caught on video.

 A resident in the 6000 block of Egg Lake Road N. reported an attempted break-in overnight July 14-15, after hearing someone try to gain access shortly after midnight. The complainant said his wife heard a screen door on the deck slide open and someone try to open the locked sliding door. A video camera over the door showed a male trying to open the door, then look toward the garage. No access was gained. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) checked the video because other neighbors had experienced break-ins overnight July 14-15. The WCSO has posted a picture of the suspect from the video.

 

Customer should get discount for supplying tools ... 

A resident in the 4000 block of Victor Path at 6:05 p.m. July 19 reported the Direct TV installers for pushing her patio furniture across her deck, taking her ladder, and walking around on her roof to install the neighbor’s satellite dish. Deputies advised the complainant to notify the business of its employee behavior.

 

Sometimes the customer is not right. 

Managers at Martinizing Dry Cleaners of Hugo on Victor Hugo Blvd. N. at 10:01 a.m. July 28 reported a Chisago man becoming unruly after the store didn’t clean his belongings to his satisfaction. The soon-to-be former customer became verbally abusive towards employees, and the business wants him banned. 

 

Don’t ever turn your back. 

A resident in the 5000 block of Farnham Drive N. at 4:49 p.m. July 30 reported a stolen $20 case of beer after coming home and finding the garage door open and a silver Pontiac Grand Am with two men in it waiting across the street. When the complainant went into the house and came back out, the beer was gone and so was the Pontiac with the two men in it. 

 

A quick check of the world map will reveal … 

A resident in the 6000 block of 180th Street N. at 10:42 a.m. Sept. 19 reported a fraudulent phone call in which the caller claimed the complainant won $10 million in the United Nations of the Republic of Congo lottery and needed to provide personal information so that the winning check could be sent out. No personal information was given out. 

 

That grandson I don’t have must have done something really awful.

 A resident in the 9000 block of 152nd Street N. at 11:32 a.m. Nov. 10 reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be her grandson from Iowa in trouble and needing $500,000. The complainant told the caller that she didn’t have $500,000 and didn’t have a grandson in Iowa or anywhere else. No money was sent.

 

The secret shopper strikes. 

A resident in the 4000 block of Victor Path is out $1,800 after falling victim to a secret shopper scam, according to a report at 9:36 a.m. Nov. 11. After receiving a $2,150 check for his presumed work, the complainant was instructed to keep $350 and send $1,800 to a post office box in Texas. He realized his mistake when his bank advised him that the larger check was no good and the $1,800 was long gone.

 

 

Beware the flowers. 

An employee of Festival Foods on Victor Hugo Blvd. N. at 6:26 a.m. Nov. 13 reported a man whose seminar she had attended six years ago stalking her in the deli department at work and leaving flowers on her vehicle for the last two weeks. The complainant said the unwanted attention has been ongoing for the last six years, that the subject shows up at her work and that she is worried about what comes next. Extra patrol has been requested. Unfortunately, there are no cameras in the grocery store parking lot to record the flower depositor.

 

A suspicious faucet. 

A resident in the 5000 block of 145th Street N. at 1:14 p.m. Nov. 28 reported that he had received a suspicious faucet in the mail. The complainant never ordered the faucet, so Washington County Sheriff’s deputies contacted the Moen Company to find out what was up. Representatives from the company said that the complainant had previously owned a Moen faucet and that they had sent out a recall replacement part to him.

 

Grinch comes to Hugo. 

A resident in the 4000 block of Fable Hill Parkway N. at 1:09 p.m. Nov. 29 reported someone cutting the wires on his candy cane Christmas lights sometime over the weekend. A resident in the 5000 block of 126th Street N. at 7:53 p.m. Nov. 29 reported someone cutting the wires on his Christmas lights the night before. 

 

Jenkins, send out a check (No. 1). 

An employee at Schwieter’s Construction in the 13000 block of Fenway Blvd. N. at 8:51 a.m. Nov. 29 reported receiving a fake email from her employer to send a $34,980 check to an address in Wheeling, Illinois. The complainant noticed that the fraudulent email had one character that was different from that of her employer. The complainant received another bogus email telling her to send a check for $41,300 to Wheeling.

 

Jenkins, send out a check (No. 2). 

A Lametti and Sons employee in the 16000 block of Forest Blvd. N. at 9:07 a.m. Dec. 18 reported receiving an email request from the business owners to send $37,252 to a party in Idaho. When deputies contacted the owners, they said they sent no such money transfer request.

 

These excuses are already taken.

A Maplewood man, 20, was cited at 3:25 a.m. Dec. 2 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. at 134th Street N. for passing in a no-passing zone and for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, after deputies observed him driving over the solid yellow line to pass another vehicle. The subject told deputies the other vehicles in front of him were driving slowly on purpose. While stopped, deputies smelled the odor of marijuana in the vehicle. The subject told deputies he “just got done smoking a blunt after leaving work.” A further search of the vehicle yielded a baggie containing marijuana. 

 

A Hugo man, 21, was cited at 5:01 p.m. Dec. 27 in the 14000 block of Keystone Avenue N. for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone and warned for not having proof of insurance. The subject said he was speeding because he was late for a 5:00 p.m. dinner date in Maplewood.

 

A Hugo woman, 20, was cited at 9:15 p.m. Jan. 2 on eastbound 130th Street N. and Isleton Avenue N. for failure to stop at a stop sign after westbound deputies observed her barely slow down. At first, the subject said she stopped, but later admitted that she had a bad habit of not stopping that she needed to change.

 

A Hugo man, 40, was cited at 6:52 a.m. Jan. 7 on eastbound Egg Lake Road and Geneva Avenue N. for speeding 51 mph in a 35 mph zone. The subject said he was running late trying to transport his child to the school bus stop and had left his wallet at home.

 

A Hugo man, 26, was cited just after midnight Jan. 11 on westbound Frenchman Road N. and Everton Avenue N. for driving after revocation after deputies on routine patrol observed a white taillight on the rear of the vehicle. The subject told deputies he had just got pulled over and that deputies would not like what they were about to see. 

 

 

To be honest. A Shafer man, 23, was cited at 9:59 a.m. Jan. 11 on Forest Blvd. N. and 165th Street N. for speeding 72 mph in a 55 mph zone. When asked whether he knew he was speeding, the driver of the black truck said, “To be honest with you, I have a shop and I’m running a diagnostics test. I know it’s not right, but when I passed the roundabout, I just floored it.” 

 

A Lino Lakes woman, 45, was cited at 8:01 p.m. Jan. 14 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. and 147th Street N. for speeding 53 mph in a 35 mph zone. When asked if she knew why she was stopped, she said it was because she was going 50 mph in a 45 mph zone. “It’s 35,” deputies quickly assured her.

 

A Columbus man, 43, was cited at 9:39 p.m. Jan. 14 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 146th Street N. for speeding 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. The subject told deputies he was merely following the car in front of him. Deputies quickly advised the subject that they clocked the car in front of him at 34 mph. 

A Marine man, 55, was cited at 11:36 p.m. Jan. 18 on westbound 170th Street N. and Ingersoll Avenue N. for speeding 74 mph in a 55 mph zone. The subject told deputies that someone had advised him to drive faster to get his vehicle to heat up more quickly

 

A Hugo woman, 50, was cited at 3:01 p.m. Jan. 26 on Oneka Lake Blvd. N. and Freeland Avenue N. for speeding 41 mph in a 30 mph zone after a parked squad observed her vehicle closing fast from behind. The driver questioned the posted speed limit, saying it was actually 35 mph.

 

A Vadnais Heights man, 40, was cited at 3:15 a.m. Jan. 31 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 130th Street N. for driving after revocation after deputies behind the subject observed him driving too slowly at 25 mph in a 55 mph zone and crossing the fog line and centerline multiple times. The subject was crying when deputies approached him and said that he was driving around because his wife had just left him. A computer check showed revoked status.

 

A Brooklyn Park woman, 47, was arrested on a warrant at 1:02 a.m. Feb. 5 at the Kwik Trip on Victor Hugo Blvd., after deputies on stationary patrol conducted a random license plate check. The subject told deputies she knew she had a warrant out and had planned on taking care of it the next day

 

A Hugo woman, 41, was cited at 2:09 p.m. Feb. 10 on northbound Keystone Avenue N. and 122nd   Street N. for failure to stop at a stop sign before turning. The subject said she was on her way to an interview.

 

A Lino Lakes man, 31, was cited at 2:49 p.m. Feb. 20 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 130th Street N. for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone and issued an insurance request form. The subject told deputies that he didn’t know why he was stopped as he was going only 65 mph, that he didn’t know the speed limit because he wasn’t “from around here” and that the deputies’ radar could not possibly have judged his speed accurately from the opposite direction. Deputies quickly assured the subject that the radar worked perfectly well going in the opposite direction as well as the same direction.

 

A White Bear Lake woman, 39, was cited at 3:37 p.m. Feb. 20 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 145th Street N. for speeding 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. The subject told deputies she knew she was speeding, but had a screaming child in the back seat. The subject was also warned for not having proof of insurance and advised to change the address on her driver’s license within 30 days. 

 

A Stillwater man, 19, was cited at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 on westbound 170th Street N. and Henna Avenue N. for speeding 67 mph in a 55 mph zone. The subject said he was surprised that he was stopped for going only 67 mph “on a nice sunny day” when he had been stopped a few weeks ago for going 20 mph over the speed limit. Deputies’ computer research found two more serious speeding offenses committed by the subject during the past month.

 

A Hugo man, 63, was cited at 7:43 a.m. Feb. 25 on Forest Blvd. N. and Frenchman Road N. for disobeying a semaphore after deputies stopped at an eastbound red light observed the southbound vehicle speed through the red light on the heels of a bus that had passed through the intersection on yellow. The subject apologized, but said that it was either run the red light or be hit from behind.  There was no mention in the report of any vehicle trailing the subject.

 

A resident in the 4000 block of Emmit Drive N. at 7:51 p.m. Feb. 26 reported hit-and-run to a vehicle parked in front of her property after a neighbor witnessed the incident and recognized the culprit. The subject told deputies she slid on the ice and thought she’d hit a snowbank, not realizing it was a vehicle.

 

A Vadnais Heights man, 55, was arrested at 8:03 p.m. March 2 on Frenchman Road and Oneka Parkway N. for driving under the influence after deputies observed him driving without headlights, swerving onto the shoulder and twice entering the ditch. The subject told deputies he was driving his company’s work truck and was unfamiliar with where the controls were. When deputies smelled alcohol, the subject told them he’d had two to three beers. The subject registered .17 on the field sobriety test.

 

A Marine man, 64, was cited at 12:56 p.m. March 17 on westbound 170th Street N. and Ingersoll Avenue N. for speeding 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. The subject told deputies he was daydreaming while a good song was playing on the radio.

 

A Wyoming woman, 43, was cited at 7:51 a.m. April 4 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. and 177th Street N. for speeding 76 mph in a 55 mph zone. The motorist didn’t deny speeding and told Washington County Sheriff’s deputies that she was “used to driving on I-35”

 

A Hugo woman, 27, was cited at 4:44 p.m. April 14 on northbound Frenchman Road N. and Forest Blvd. N. for improper use of a wireless communications device after Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on stationary patrol observed her turning through the intersection with her head down and manipulating a phone. She almost collided with the vehicle in front of her. The subject, whose attitude was described as good, said she was only looking at recent texts. 

 

A Hugo woman, 44, was cited by southbound deputies on directed patrol at 6:27 p.m. April 18 in the 12400 block of northbound Ethan Avenue N. for speeding 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. The subject said she knew why she was stopped and that her speed was due to her “coming down a hill.” 

 

A Hugo woman, 30, was cited at 2:22 p.m. April 21 on westbound 140th Street N. at Forest Blvd. N. for driving after revocation, after deputies waiting in the southbound left turn lane conducted a random computer check of the vehicle waiting at the light to turn north. The subject told deputies she “just can’t pass the driver’s license test.”

 

A Hugo man, 32, was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrant at 7:39 a.m. April 22 on Foster Avenue N. and Farnham Avenue N. The subject, who said he was just taking his son to school, was also cited for driving after revocation. 

 

A Hugo man, 39, was cited at 10:02 p.m. April 27 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. and Frenchman Road for driving after suspension after deputies behind him pulled him over for making a right turn to go west without stopping at the red light. The subject said he didn’t see any “no turn on red” signs so he went. Deputies, however, advised him that he still had to stop. He was issued a verbal warning for incomplete stop. 

 

A North Branch man, 29, was cited at 4:27 p.m. May 9 on westbound 170th Street N. and Jeffery Avenue N. for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. The subject told deputies his speedometer was “off by four mph.” 

 

A Hugo man, 50, was cited at 7:36 p.m. May 14 on westbound Egg Lake Road N. at Foxhill Avenue N. for speeding 47 mph in a 35 mph zone. The subject told deputies he knew he was going 50 mph and was trying to get home to make dinner.

 

A Mahtomedi woman, 21, was cited at 6:08 p.m. May 26 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. at 140th Street N. for texting while driving, after she pulled up in the left turn lane next to Washington County Sheriff’s deputies waiting at the light. Deputies observed her thumbing a phone at shoulder height and tried to gain her attention, but without success. When deputies honked at the subject, she finally looked up. The subject, who had a small child in the back seat, told deputies that she was only emailing someone.

A Forest Lake woman, 38, was cited at 3:56 p.m. June 19 on Forest Blvd. N. and Frenchman Road for driving by a long line of traffic by passing on the shoulder. The subject told deputies she thought she’d “alleviate the traffic — it was so backed up.” 

 

A Hugo man, 38, was cited at 1:48 a.m. July 1 on northbound Oneka Parkway N. and Evergreen Drive N. for inattentive driving, after deputies observed him driving north in the southbound lane. The subject said he was “really tired and did you know that you can’t access Evergreen Drive from northbound Oneka Parkway?” 

 

A Hudson, Wisconsin man, 23, was cited at 11:27 a.m. July 13 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 165th Street N. for speeding 90 mph in a 55 mph zone and verbally warned for a wrong address on his driver’s license. The subject told deputies he thought he was going 70 mph, had just passed another car and was late for work.

 

An Anoka man, 20, was cited at 4:35 p.m. Aug. 4 on 170th Street N. and Ingersoll Avenue N. for speeding 68 mph in a 45 mph work zone, despite a clearly posted sign saying, “Rough Road. Use Caution. Fines Double.”  The subject told deputies that he was headed toward Dunrovin Retreat Center with a passenger and besides, the vehicle in front of him was speeding, too.

 

A White Bear Lake man, 34, was cited at 11:33 p.m. Aug. 10 on southbound Forest Blvd. N. and 145th Street N. for speeding 45 mph in a 35 mph zone and for possessing drug paraphernalia in a motor vehicle after deputies pulled the subject over for speeding and smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Deputies didn’t find any marijuana but found a grinder and bowl that was recently used to grind marijuana. When the subject told deputies the speed limit was 50 mph, they quickly assured him the speed limit was 35. The subject’s girlfriend told deputies they didn’t produce the paraphernalia right away when asked about the marijuana due to the pouring rain.

 

A Hugo man, 45, was arrested on a warrant at 1:43 a.m. Aug. 17 in the 6000 block of 170th Street N.  The subject told Washington County Sheriff’s deputies that “I thought I signed a waiver saying that I didn’t have to show up in court.” 

 

A Hugo man, 59, was arrested at 10:24 p.m. Sept. 3 on Frenchman Road N. and Everton Avenue N. for driving after revocation following a traffic stop for a nonfunctioning headlight. The driver could not provide deputies with a driver’s license. The subject insisted that he needed to “drive to work so that I can pay my bills and pay my fines.” The subject was cuffed, nevertheless, and transported to jail.

 

A White Bear Lake man, 28, was cited at 2:42 p.m. Sept. 11 on westbound 140th Street N. and Fenway Blvd. N. for failure to stop at a stop sign after deputies on stationary patrol northwest of the public works department observed him slow and continue through the stop sign. The driver, who also had no driver’s license in possession, told deputies he was testing a “new tranny” by keeping his speed up. 

 

An Anoka woman, 18, was cited at 11:43 p.m. Nov. 17 on northbound Forest Blvd. N. and 145th Street N. for speeding 52 mph in a 35 mph zone after deputies on patrol clocked her with same-direction radar. The driver told deputies she was unaware of her speed because she was “just driving around to release stress.”

 

A Hugo man, 45, was cited at 7:17 a.m. Nov. 18 in the 7000 block of westbound 170th Street N. for unsafe passing after he passed a school bus while in a “no passing” zone. The motorist told deputies he knew he had passed unsafely because he was in a hurry to be able to leave work early that day.

 

A Chisago City man, 39, was cited at 10:50 p.m. Nov. 26 on eastbound 122nd Street N. at Keystone Avenue N. for speeding 74 mph in a 55 mph zone. The motorist told deputies, “I was just clippin’ along, trying to keep up with traffic.”

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