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Man charged in Northwoods burglary case had lots of experience

A Grand Rapids man was charged Friday for allegedly breaking into Northwoods Credit Union Arena and stealing money from an ATM machine on the night of July Fourth.

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Daniel James Irving, 32, was charged Thursday, July 10, in Carlton County Court with felony theft, second-degree burglary, criminal damage to property in the first degree and possession of burglary/theft tools. Bail was set at $5,000.

According to the criminal complaint:

Cloquet Police Department officers responded to the reported burglary July 6, when the arena custodian noticed the ATM machine inside the arena had been broken into.

The suspect had covered one security camera with a trash bag as well as two motion and light sensors. A hole had been drilled in one door of the building; however, entry appeared to have been made through a different door that was pried open. The ATM machine in the main concourse had the right side cut open and all the money removed, a total of $3,720. The ATM was unplugged and a wire running to the machine was cut. It was also reported that a Sawzall (reciprocating saw) appeared to be missing from the maintenance room.

The following morning, according to the complaint, officers responded to an address on the 1000 block of Spring Lake Road, where a person had discovered tools including a Sawzall, pry bar, power drill and extension cord between a portable restroom and construction trailer, which the officers collected and placed into evidence, suspecting they had been used in the Northwoods burglary.

As noted in last week’s Pine Journal, Cloquet Police said the public was key in helping identify Irving, after Detective Derek Randall posted photos taken from surveillance video at the arena. By the next morning, police had received numerous calls from members of the public and later from law enforcement officials from the Grand Rapids area identifying the man in the photos as Irving.

When two Cloquet detectives traveled to Grand Rapids Tuesday, they met with local investigators and began looking for Irving, first stopping at his residence, where they were met by his stepmother, who identified Irving as the man pictured in the surveillance footage.

Even Irving himself didn’t dispute the evidence, according to the criminal complaint.

“As the Detective introduced himself, Defendant looked at the surveillance photos sitting on top of the Detective’s folder and said, ‘Yeah, that’s me. I was wondering if that was a camera,’” the complaint states.

After detectives read a Miranda warning, the criminal complaint states that Irving provided a detailed confession, discussing how he planned and executed the burglary and how he hid the tools near the construction trailer.

Cloquet Police Detective Darrin Berg said the suspect told the detectives he was familiar with the layout of of the hockey arena because he had worked there when he was an inmate with the Willow River Challenge Incarceration Program. Berg said the man acted alone in the burglary.

Irving has an extensive criminal history, including multiple charges and convictions of more than 30 third- and second-degree burglaries dating from 2001 through 2006. More recently, a September 2011 first-degree burglary charge was dismissed in Itasca County, but Irving was convicted in the same case of a felony firearms violation. Another first-degree burglary charge in St. Louis County filed in April 2011 was dismissed, but Irving also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 68 months at the state prison in St. Cloud in June 2012, with credit for 492 days already served.

An omnibus hearing for Irving is set for 9 a.m. July 23 in Carlton County Court.