Updated: Burglar gets away with $70,000 in cell phones, accessories from Cloquet AT&T storeAn estimated $70,000 in cell phones and cell phone accessories were stolen from the Cloquet AT&T store early Monday morning, according to the Cloquet Police Department (CPD).
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
The following paragraph contains the most recent news from the Cloquet Police Department, which contains more details about the burglary at the Cloquet AT&T store last Monday. The paragraph is followed by last week's Pine Journal story.
In the early morning of Sept. 5 a white male, approximately 5’10”- 6’-2” entered the Cloquet AT&T Store through an adjacent business. Once inside the adjacent business the male cut through the sheet rock wall and cut the wiring to the surveillance system. The individual then went through the ceiling to gain entrance into a locked storage room where the phones were kept. The phone safe was pried open with tools that were brought and taken from the scene. The individual stole 254 cell phones valued at over $70,000. The phones included iPhone 3, and 3GS in 8 & 16GB sizes, iPhone 4, various Samsung smart phone models, and various other brands, and various cell phone accessories. A silver minivan was seen in the area during this time. The Cloquet Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying this individual or individuals responsible. Please contact: Detectives Holman, Randall or Berg at (218)-879-1247 at the Cloquet Police Department with any information.
Burglar gets away with $70,000 worth of cell phones, accessories
An estimated $70,000 in cell phones and cell phone accessories were stolen from the Cloquet AT&T store early Monday morning, according to the Cloquet Police Department (CPD).
The burglary was reported by store staff at 8 a.m. Labor Day, but police estimate it happened closer to 2 a.m. that day. The burglar gained access to the storage area of the cell phone store by first breaking into the now vacant Papa John’s next door, then cutting through the wall to get to the AT&T store on the other side. Both stores are located on Highway 33 in front of Walmart in Cloquet.
Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande said the person who broke through the wall had “everything they needed” to break through the wall (which was made of drywall).
Police have a video of the suspect, but not a lot of details. According to CPD Detective Darrin Berg, the burglar was a white male who was wearing a dark-colored jacket or
sweatshirt with gray sweatpants. He was wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, possibly brown in color.
Currently police are still investigating the case.
“This was an extensive burglary,” Berg said, adding that approximately 250 cell phones, accessories, SIM cards and an iPad were stolen from a locked cabinet in the store’s back room. “There were Motorola smart phones, iPhones, Samsungs and more. We are working with AT&T to identify the phones.”
The veteran police detective said this was the largest break-in in terms of dollar amount he’s seen in Cloquet in recent years. However, he noted that it is one of several burglaries that have happened in the area recently, including copper thefts last month and two other break-ins this week, one at Pine Valley Covenant Church and one at Cloquet Dental in Pine Tree Plaza. In both those cases, the person or people gained access by breaking a window. An undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from the church, along with some equipment.
Berg said the AT&T break-in appeared to be well-planned.
“I think it was not just a whim, based on the scene,” he said, noting that the person must have had the necessary tools to both break in the back door of the vacant store and then get through the wall into the cell phone retail store. “We have a lot of interviews to do,” he said, “but we’ll get it figured out.”
Berg said police plan to reach out to law enforcement agencies in other states to let them know of the crime and what exactly was stolen.
“We don’t know if this is something that’s been occurring in other areas of the nation, if the individual was local or just someone passing through,” he said. “We’ve had quite a run of burglaries lately. Any help we can get would be great.”
People who may have information on these break-ins is asked to call the Cloquet Police Department at 218-879-1247.