Crime blotter: flauting the law

class=img_thumbleft>On June 16 two flutes worth over $3400 were stolen from the Schmitt Music store in Burnsville. Three days later the business was robbed again. The loot: two more flutes valued at more than $3200. The stolen instruments were subsequently pawned at four different area pawnshops for a total of $676.50. On July 12, Burnsville police officers were again dispatched to Schmitt Music to investigate an attempted theft of expensive flutes. According to a criminal complaint filed last week in Dakota County District Court, employees of both the music store and one of the pawn shops identified Brandon Tremayne Watkins (a.k.a. Brandon Tremayne Bray) as the serial flute thief. Watkins allegedly admitted pawning the four flutes, but denied stealing them. He has been charged with receiving stolen property and theft. According to records maintained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the 29-year-old Maple Grove resident has been convicted of 24 previous crimes, including 11 counts of theft.