Stopping a Fraud Suspect

ATM machineDuring the evening hours of Dec. 2, 2016, the EPPD received a call from a Bremer Bank Loss Prevention Services employee stating they had received an alert notifying them that someone had used eight stolen credit cards at an ATM drive-thru at the Bremer Bank in Eden Prairie to withdraw $2,700.

An hour later, Bremer Bank called again stating that the same man was attempting to use a stolen credit card at the same ATM. The bank’s Loss Prevention employee was able to view live video footage of the ATM and gave police a detailed description of the suspect. Officers arrived but the man already left. During these two encounters the man had withdrawn $6,600 using 17 cards.

Two hours later Bremer Bank called a third time to report the same man was using fraudulent cards at the same ATM. The suspect had used nine cards to withdraw an additional $3,400. Officers responded to the ATM and found a man matching the suspect’s description. The man was arrested and a search warrant was issued to search his hotel room where they found cash and miscellaneous credit cards issued in other people’s names.

The total loss was $10,000 from 21 victims. He has been charged with felony identity theft.

Investigators learned that the man was from New York and that he had been sent to Minnesota for the purpose of withdrawing large sums of money from this particular Bremer Bank ATM. The man is likely part of a larger fraudulent financial card ring operating out of New York.

Commendation Award

Sgt. Matt Sackett, Nick Kettner, Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Chief Jim DeMann, Christopher Lundgren

At last night’s City Council meeting two men, Nick Kettner and Christopher Lundgren, received the EPPD’s Commendation Award from Chief Jim DeMann for their work in saving the life of a suicidal man last October. Commendation Awards are given to department personnel or citizens for excellent or unusual accomplishments or actions.

The award reads as follows:

On October 26, 2016 Nick Kettner was driving on the Shady Oak Road bridge over Hwy. 212 when he noticed a man on the outside of the bridge’s metal fencing holding on with just one arm.

Mr. Kettner quickly parked his car and ran to the man who was crying and screaming into his cell phone, stating that he had nothing to live for. Mr. Kettner initially did not say anything to the man but simply put his arms through the fencing and bear hugged the man so he was braced on the fence.

At the same time, Christopher Lundgren drove by and saw Mr. Kettner and the man. He stopped his car and ran to their location. Together the two men held tight to the man through the fence and started talking to him, telling him they weren’t going to let him die. Eventually the two men were able to talk the man into letting them help him climb over the fence and onto the sidewalk.

Mr. Kettner and Mr. Lundgren then sat with the man on the sidewalk until officers arrived and the man was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

That day Mr. Kettner and Mr. Lundgren made a split-second decision to help a stranger in a desperate and dangerous situation. Their quick thinking, compassion and willingness to get involved helped to avert a serious tragedy. Their intuition, and their ability to act on it, was not only courageous – it also saved a man’s life.

For their heroic actions, I hereby award Nick Kettner and Christopher Lundgren with the Eden Prairie Police Department’s Commendation Award.

James DeMann, Police Chief

The EPPD would like to thank and congratulate Mr. Kettner and Mr. Lundgren for their actions.

Impaired Drivers on the Road

In the early morning hours of last Sunday, an EPPD Reserve Officer on patrol noticed a car on Hwy. 212 weaving between the lines and driving erratically. The Reserve Officer notified dispatch and followed the car until officers arrived and pulled the car over. The driver’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .15, nearly twice the legal limit of .08. The driver was arrested for DWI and Careless Driving.

Despite knowing the dangers of drunk driving, every day there are people who continue to put themselves and others in danger by drinking and driving. Preliminary statistics show there were 255 DWI arrests in Eden Prairie in 2016.

During the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s statewide DWI enforcement event Nov. 23–Dec. 30, law enforcement officers across the state arrested 2,407 people for DWI, including 13 arrests by EPPD officers.

We cannot emphasize it enough – don’t drink and drive. The consequences can be costly, painful and deadly. To see one victim’s story, click on the video below.

Good Deed

presentsOn December 23, 2016, the Eden Prairie Police and Fire Departments were called to an apartment building in Eden Prairie where water pipes on the fourth floor had burst and were flooding apartment units.

Several families experienced significant water damage to their apartments and learned that they would need to be housed in another location for several days until their apartments could be repaired. City officials on the scene paged the City’s on-call chaplain to come to the apartment building to help comfort the families.

Pastor John Brecount of Discipleship Ridge Church in Eden Prairie arrived on the scene and provided a ministry of presence to the victims, many of whom were distraught at the damage to their homes. Later, Pastor Brecount wondered how he and his small congregation could help the four families who were required to move out of their homes two days before Christmas.

After working closely with the apartment manager, Pastor Brecount and his congregation decided to provide the families with Christmas gifts, as the families had lost most of theirs in the flooding. Pastor Brecount and his crew went shopping and on Christmas Eve he delivered gifts for the children and gift cards for the adults.

The families were touched by the generosity of these strangers, and Pastor Brecount and his congregants were happy to do something for those who were experiencing a hardship during the holidays.

How Our Squad Cars Spend Retirement

repurposed-squads-mhsrc-cropped

Former EPPD squad cars now being used as training vehicles at the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center

Have you ever wondered what happens to EPPD squad cars when they can no longer be used on the streets of Eden Prairie?

The EPPD retires squad cars when they reach the end of their duty cycles, which is about three years of service or approximately 100,000-120,000 miles. In an effort to manage costs, we attempt to replace about one-third of our patrol fleet each year.

Our current fleet consists of 20 marked squad cars and four unmarked patrol cars. As they reach replacement mileage, the City looks for ways to repurpose them. In the past few years the EPPD has sold eight former squad cars to the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center at St. Cloud State University which offers classes for law enforcement officers on a closed driving course.

Thanks to the excellent mechanics in the City’s Fleet Services Division, we are able to provide well-maintained vehicles to this important organization which helps to train law enforcement officers, including EPPD officers, on safe emergency driving.