Cesar Sayoc Jr., the 56-year-old Florida man identified as a suspect in the rash of pipe bombs sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump, has a history of crime in Minnesota. Or at least poorly conceived crime.
Sayoc -- a body builder, booker of stripper and burlesque shows, and registered Republican -- was arrested in Florida today in a van plastered with Trump pictures. He has a criminal record in Florida, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat. But his record in Minnesota is a lot less menacing.
In 1995, Sayoc was accused of going to Nature Foods in Edina and Nature’s Food Center in Bloomington, where he bought vitamins and supplements in volume, then returned them for refunds. But employees discovered they'd been duped when the found the vitamin jars filled with beans, and the supplements replaced by water. Police records say the switcheroo netted Sayoc $568.
Despite the modesty of his caper, Bloomington police reports say Sayoc behaved more like an arch criminal following his arrest, “continuously thrashed around in the backseat” and “kicking the passenger seat,” according to the Star Tribune. The cops also found crack in the backseat of the squad car after Sayoc was taken to jail.
Sayoc was charged with felony theft by swindle over $500 and possession, then released. But the case appears to have sat dormant for another decade, until he was arrested on a warrant in 2005. By that time, the crack had been destroyed -- before it was authenticated as genuine crack. The case was dimissed.