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Ice arena burglar sentenced to 15 months

Daniel James Irving

A Grand Rapids man was sentenced to 15 months in prison Monday for breaking into Northwoods Credit Union Arena and stealing money from an ATM machine on the night of July 6.

Daniel James Irving, 32, pleaded guilty in Carlton County Court to felony second-degree burglary. Charges of felony theft, criminal damage to property in the first degree and possession of burglary/theft tools were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Judge Robert Macaulay imposed $85 in court fees and ordered Irving to report to the commissioner of corrections.

Irving has an extensive criminal history, and the accrued criminal points figured into his sentencing for the current crime. Past offenses include 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.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the Cloquet incident, the Northwoods Credit Union Arena custodian noticed the ATM machine inside the arena had been broken into and summoned police. Investigators discovered 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, though 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.

After Cloquet Police Detective Derek Randall posted photos taken from surveillance video at the arena, police 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. He was later apprehended and provided a detailed confession, admitting he had worked there when he was an inmate with the Willow River Challenge Incarceration Program.