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Garage security system alerts homeowner to alleged burglar

By Janice Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A Rochester homeowner who installed a new system to alert him when he forgot to close the garage door discovered much more Tuesday night.

The homeowner was going to bed about 10:15 p.m. when he noticed the alert that the garage door was open. He opened the door to the attached garage and saw the dome light on in his pickup. Then he saw a shadow move by the right side of his vehicle.

The owner yelled, but no one answered. The homeowner stepped farther into the garage and around his truck and saw a man trying to crouch next to the truck.

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Then, he later told police, the man started to walk outside and pulled out his pants pockets to show that he hadn’t taken anything.

The homeowner told the man — later identified as Robert Coy Thompson, 37 — to get back in the garage while he went into the house to call 911.

When police arrived at the house in the 300 block of Chalet Drive Northwest, Thompson was inside the garage, and the homeowner was standing outside holding a shovel.

Police found a screwdriver and a pair of black leather gloves on Thompson, according to the criminal complaint charging him with a string of offenses. He told officers he had been riding his bike, had to go to the bathroom and went into the garage.

Some change and a cell phone and charger were taken from the pickup’s glove compartment. They were found next to the west side of the garage, where Thompson had emptied his pockets, the complaint said.

Thompson also is known as Patrick Edward Jenkins and has a criminal history that includes two burglary convictions and one forgery conviction in Crow Wing County, four burglary convictions and one forgery conviction in Olmsted County, a felony theft conviction in Ramsey County and two theft convictions in Texas.

A new complaint charges him with second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary and possession of burglary or theft tools, all felonies, and misdemeanor charges of theft, trespassing and tampering with a motor vehicle.

His unconditional bail has been set at $50,000 and conditional bail at $25,000. He returns to court Aug. 7.

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