Fleeing woman facing drug and gun charges

Summer nights, movie lights

   A Minneapolis woman is in the Dakota County jail on drug and gun charges after police chased her car from a suspected drug house to a busy commercial area during the middle of the day while she had a loaded gun on the passenger seat, according to court records.
   No injuries were reported during the September 20 arrest of Sarah Pitre, 24, of 3338 Irving Ave. N., Minneapolis. Pitre was charged with possession of more than 10 grams of a narcotic other than heroin and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. 
   Pitre, whose Minnesota criminal record includes 16 offenses ranging from misdemeanor consumption of alcohol under the age of 21 to felony theft and possession of burglary tools, attracted the attention of police at a home that was under surveillance for suspected drug activity, according to court records.
   Drug task force agents were conducting surveillance of an Eagan residence September 20, preparing to execute a search warrant, when they saw a silver Audi A4 pull up to the home. A woman got out of the car after speaking to the man in the driveway. She entered the home and came out less than two minutes later with a clear plastic bag in her hand, according to court records.
   The woman then sped off and was followed by police. The woman allegedly took several turns attempting to evade the police officer following her. As the woman continued to drive on Denmark Drive and head towards Town Centre Drive, several police officers joined the chase, according to court records. Police eventually stopped the car and approached the car with weapons drawn. Approaching the car, police saw a gun on the passenger seat.
   The gun was a 9 mm Felk pistol containing three bullets. More ammunition was found in the car, according to police.
   Police also found a plastic bag in the car containing a substance that field tested positive for 13.63 grams of methamphetamine, according to court records.
   Pitre was on three years probation following a felony theft conviction on Oct. 20, 2016, according to court records.
  No other arrests were reported in the episode.

Copyright The Eagan Enterprise
Man charged with stealing from elders' home   
  A Richfield man is facing felony charges for allegedly making fraudulent charges against the bank account of a resident of an assisted living facility where he used to work, burglarizing another resident’s room, and breaking into an office to steal his employee file.
      Darryl Lee Sorensen, 38, of 6445 Queen Ave. S. #103, Richfield, was charged with felony financial transaction card fraud and two counts of burglary,  according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. He was summoned to appear in court Oct. 23.
      The charge stems from a June 5 report to police of suspected fraudulent activity made by the manager of an assisted living facility. The daughter of one of the residents of the home reported nine suspicious transactions had been made on her mother’s bank account. The largest was a $106 charge at Cooper’s Restaurant in Eagan. Other charges included several charges at Holiday gas stations in Eagan, and a charge at the Eden Prairie Walmart. The transactions and the final attempted transaction totaled more than $255.
      Sorenson had worked at the assisted living facility as a front-desk receptionist for nearly 14 years, from February 2003 to December 2016, before being terminated, according to court records.  
      On Aug. 20, the facility reported a burglary from its office. The only item reported missing was Sorenson’s employee file. During the investigation of the burglary, a resident of the facility told police that she awoke at about 3:30 a.m. on June 6 to see a man rifling through her jewelry drawer. She pretended to be asleep, but pushed her emergency bracelet to call a nurse.
Fall began in Eagan this week with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, prompting some to seek refuge from the heat at the local movie theater. Eagan police routinely guard the entrances of the local cinema on weekends.  Enterprise photo by Chris C.

Vikings sail through planning board

   The Minnesota Vikings breezed through another meeting with city officials Tuesday night, gaining unanimous approval from the Advisory Planning Commission to subdivide 60 acres of its 200-acre future headquarters and residential complex from two to 7 lots.
   “It’s pretty straightforward,” commission members said in approving the plan. A public hearing on the issue opened and closed quickly, as no members of the public appeared to speak about the project. The plan next heads to the Eagan City Council for approval.
   In other business, the Advisory Planning Commission also unanimously approved a conditional use permit for construction of a 1,679 cubic foot dense ash storage silo at the EcoLab facility off Lone Oak Road. There was no opposition to the project at a public hearing. 


Burglar released from jail now wanted on nationwide warrant      A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected in the burglary of two Dakota County churches based on a DNA match to evidence found at the scene.
      Dakota County has issued a warrant for the arrest of Thomas Wayne Berens, 37, believed to be homeless and a suspect in a number of burglaries in the area. Berens’ DNA was linked to a cigarette butt found at the scene of a Sept. 26, 2016, burglary at the Spirit of Truth Church in Burnsville, according to a criminal complaint. A crowbar was stolen from the church in that burglary and, according to court records, found at a second burglary at a nearby church.
      A crowbar was found at the scene of a second burglary reported the same day by a treatment center located at the Dakota Unitarian Church. The burglar took keys to office doors and cabinets at the treatment center and a cell phone, according to court records. It also appeared that a crow bar had been used against a rear garage door. DNA testing at the state criminal lab linked Berens to both the crow bar and a white rag wrapped around it, according to the criminal complaint.
      Berens pleaded guilty to a felony burglary of an occupied dwelling charge in May 2017 and ordered to remain in Minnesota as a condition of his sentence. He was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for 152 days served, according to court records. That was one of four felony burglary convictions on his record, according to court documents. He was placed on probation for the other three burglaries, all in Hennepin County.
      The burglary for which Berens was sentenced occurred three days after the church burglaries, at 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2016, at the Eagan Pointe Senior Living facility on Blackhawk Road. In the Eagan case, Berens and two others broke into the senior living facility by throwing a rock through the first-story community room window. The burglars ransacked the community room looking for money and left by taxi.
      Police used a K9 to track the burglars and found Berens and a juvenile male relative hiding near the 1800 block of Trailway Drive, according to court records.