BY JORDAN LANGER
It’s so easy and tempting for thieves to rummage through unlocked vehicles and steal anything of value while the owners are fast asleep inside their homes.
The accessibility to iPods, GPS units and other items commonly stolen from unlocked vehicles lured three juveniles and two adults to the area of Magnolia Lane and 47th Street in Plymouth during the early morning hours of Aug. 2.
At around 4 a.m., Plymouth Police were patrolling the area because of a high number of burglaries and thefts reported in the vicinity, according to a criminal complaint.
Officers noticed a car parked in a “no parking” zone and upon approaching the vehicle, a bag of marijuana was in plain sight as well as a marijuana pipe.
When seizing the narcotics, police found numerous iPods in the car and GPS devices. Officers were able to view the iPod owner’s first and last name by looking at the settings file on the iPod.
Using motor vehicle records, the officer located the owner’s address and drove to the residence on the 4000 block of Pineview Lane in Maple Grove. As the officers approached the home, they noticed the garage door was open and the garage light was on. After speaking with the residents, the officers confirmed the two iPods police found in the vehicle had been stolen from the resident’s unlocked cars that were parked inside their garage.
When officers returned to the car with the stolen property and narcotics, officers located 21-year-old Maple Grove resident Cory James Walz near the car and arrested him, according to the complaint.
When speaking with police, Walz admitted to police that he along with 19-year-old Maple Grove resident Delphis Cheryouit Kuto and three juveniles committed a number of thefts and burglaries leading up to the Aug 2 incident.
The three juveniles arrested for burglary include a 14-year-old female, a 15-year-old female and a 16-year-old male. When speaking with police, the juvenile suspects told the officers that stealing property from vehicles and garages is a growing trend because it is an easy crime of opportunity.
So far this year, there have been 176 thefts from vehicle reports, as opposed to 131 at the same time last year, said Tammy Ward, the police department’s public information officer.
Kuto and Walz are charged with one count of first-degree burglary and face a penalty of six months to 20 years in prison. Kuto is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County District Court Aug. 15 and Walz is to appear Sept. 14.