Crime blotter: criminal incompetence, Hennepin County edition

class=img_thumbleft>On August 11th, a reporter at the Star Tribune received a voicemail message from 36-year-old Jeremy Lee Taff. According to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, Taff stated that he was going to put gas in his car, drive to the house of two unidentified individuals, and burn their residence down. Apparently Taff wanted the reporter, who is not named, to write about the people whose house he was about to burn down. Taff was charged with one count of making terroristic threats.

Five days later, at approximately 4:30 p.m., 41-year-old Michael Roy Sallet entered the Marshall Field's department store located on Nicollet Mall. According to a criminal complaint, he proceeded to the LeeAnn Chin restaurant and ordered two egg rolls. After receiving the egg rolls Sallet allegedly walked away without bothering to pay for them. He was immediately detained by security personnel and the cops were called. When the police arrived they discovered that Sallet also had in his possession a laptop computer with the words "General Mills" emblazoned on it. Sallet did not work for General Mills. He claimed to have purchased the laptop for $30 on a street corner. He faces one felony count of receiving stolen property.

Perhaps Sallet purchased the laptop from someone like Richard William Zelinski. Last week police were called to the White Castle restaurant on Central Avenue in Minneapolis to investigate reports of a suspicious male, Zelinski, attempting to sell a compact disc player. What was suspicious about the gentleman? According to a criminal complaint, he had blood all over his hands. Upon being questioned by police, Zelinski allegedly admitted breaking into a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville parked in the area and stealing the stereo. He's charged with one felony count of first degree property damage.

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