Thanks to video surveillance footage and two alert Metro Transit Police officers, a 52-year-old man has been charged with breaking glass panels and stealing the heating element from the Blue Line’s Franklin Avenue Station.
Metro Transit Police officers Emmanuel Martinez-Cruz and Samuel Scheeler made the arrest on Wednesday, Aug. 23, after recognizing the suspect while patrolling in downtown Minneapolis. The officers had been shown images of the suspect from surveillance video earlier that morning.
"The officers were really on top of it," Deputy Chief Andrew Olson said. "They were paying attention to their surroundings. They did a great job."
General Manager Brian Lamb also applauded the Police Department's success.
"I really appreciate how quickly and effectively everyone worked together to investigate, address and repair," Lamb said. "It's a wonderful example of exemplary teamwork."
The suspect, who has been charged with third-degree burglary, was recorded on surveillance video using a brick to smash glass panels at the Franklin Avenue Station. In all, 25 panels were smashed and a heated enclosure for rail operators was damaged. The suspect also attempted to remove the enclosure's heating element.
Olson said this incident underscores the importance of Metro Transit's video surveillance as a crime-fighting tool.
"We have numerous cameras from several different angles across the entire system monitoring vehicle interiors, exteriors, and facilities," Olson said. "We want everybody to know the cameras are there. If you commit a crime, we'll likely have video of you doing it. We also know a lot of crime is prevented because people are aware the cameras are there."