Crime blotter: divine intervention

On April 24, at approximately 9:18 a.m., Eagan police officers were dispatched to the Peace Reform Church on Glory Drive to investigate a burglary. Upon arrival, the cops were informed that four credit cards and $5 in cash had been stolen from a church employee's purse. The purse had been stowed inside a desk drawer in the church's office. An employee reported seeing a tall black male exiting the office at about the time of the theft.

That same day, at approximately 10:59 a.m., Eagan officers responded to a call at St. John Newman Church on Pilot Knob Road. There they were informed that a church employee's wallet had been stolen from an equipment room. A maintenance worker reported that he observed a tall black male wearing a mink coat exiting the building around the time of the theft.

At approximately 1:25 p.m. that same day, Eagan officers were contacted by the office manager at Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. The church employee informed them that a wallet--containing $40 cash, two $10 Starbucks gift cards, a credit card, and a debit card--had been stolen from the church. The cops were also told that a possible suspect, a tall black male wearing a gray mink coat, had been captured on videotape. Officers went to Grace Church to view the tape. According to a criminal complaint subsequently filed in Dakota County District Court, the cops immediately recognized the suspect as Mark Anthony Vaughn.

Witnesses from the two earlier church thefts then purportedly picked Vaughn out of a lineup. In addition the suspect was subsequently linked to two other area burglaries. According to the criminal complaint, Vaughn stole a wallet from Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota Heights on February 24, and a purse from Koposia Education Center in South St. Paul on April 10.

Earlier today the 29-year-old was charged with five counts of burglary. According to records maintained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Vaughn has 18 prior criminal convictions, including for check forgery and theft by swindle.

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