At about five o'clock on Sunday morning, as a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy pulled up to his Brooklyn Park home, he saw that all the lights in the house were on and that a strange car was parked at an angle and stuck in a snow bank in his driveway. Upon walking into his garage, the deputy encountered 28-year-old Daniel Lewandowski, who was coming from the house to the garage. Thinking Lewandowski must be a friend of his teenage daughter, the deputy told him to move his car.
But when the deputy got inside the house, his professional crime-fighting instincts told him something was awry.
There were a number of clues: Several of his CDs were missing. A bottle of his wine had vanished. No one else was home. And the front door had been kicked in.
The deputy called 911 and returned to the driveway. Lewandowski, his car apparently stuck in the snow bank, was still there.
The deputy identified himself as law enforcement and asked Lewandowski what he was doing at the house.
Lewandowski had a simple answer: There was a for sale sign in the yard. Hence, he reasoned, it was in foreclosure and vacant. The young man told the officer that he'd gone inside to get a drink.
Sure enough, when Brooklyn Park police officers arrived at the scene, they noticed that Lewandowski, a two-time convicted felon, reeked of booze.
No word on where the deputy's daughter was spending the night.