DNA evidence has resulted in third-degree burglary charges against a 25-year-old man related to several minority-owned business break-ins in Eden Prairie in the fall of 2021.
Yahaya Abdishakur Mohamed of Shakopee was linked by DNA to at least two of the burglaries, and a second suspect was linked to another, according to charges filed in Hennepin County District Court on June 22.
The complaint’s statement of probable cause links all of the cases to Mohamed. A complaint involving a second suspect was referred to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office in early April and is still being reviewed by them, according to an Eden Prairie Police Department spokesperson.
The string of burglaries began on Sept. 26, 2021, at Poornanand Foods, 8773 Columbine Road. While patrolling the area, Eden Prairie officers noticed broken glass on the front door of the business’s building. K9 dogs were brought in to search the premises, but no intruders were found inside.
The store’s owner reported two cash registers and between $300 and $400 missing. The glass was broken using a dumbbell found on the floor inside the store. DNA from the dumbbell matched Mohamed. Officers later found the cash registers on West Black Dog Road under I-35W in Burnsville.
Mohamed’s DNA was also found at India Market, 574 Prairie Center Drive, following a Nov. 7, 2021, break-in, according to the charges. A second suspect’s DNA was found after an Oct. 14 break-in at the Greek Grill, 8695 Columbine Road. In each of those cases, windows were broken using a tire jack and a rock, respectively.
Six related break-ins
The complaint links six burglaries, including the Poornanand and India Market break-ins. Others include:
Deg Deg Halal Market, 8755 Columbine Road — two break-ins — Sept. 26, 2021, and Nov. 16, 2021. A cash register was later discovered behind the Applebee’s restaurant.
Halal Market, 13397 Anderson Lakes Parkway — Sept. 26, 2021. A cash register was taken with an approximate loss of $100.
Naf Naf Grill, 13250 Technology Drive — Sept. 26, 2021. A cash box was taken.
On Oct. 19, 2021, Burnsville Police stopped a suspicious vehicle with a Texas license plate. The vehicle was driven by a 33-year-old man who gave police a Texas I.D.
Burnsville Police impounded the vehicle and discovered a large rock and a neon yellow glove in the vehicle. The man was arrested for a Columbia Heights burglary on Oct. 20, 2021, when he arrived at the towing company to retrieve the vehicle.
Video footage from the Oct. 14 Greek Grill burglary showed a suspect matching his description, the complaint said. DNA swabs at Greek Grill also matched the suspect.
Dec. 2021: ‘Person of interest’
Eden Prairie Police announced that they had identified a “person of interest” in December 2021. Calling the investigation active, police said they were working with other cities experiencing similar crimes, but declined to identify them.
Police also declined to provide additional information about the person of interest, including whether police suspected the individual might be responsible for all of the Eden Prairie incidents and those in other communities.
Two business owners who spoke anonymously to EPLN at the time said they were hesitant to talk publicly because they were concerned about losing business just as they were beginning to recover from COVID-19 shutdowns.
In response to the spate of break-ins, the Eden Prairie Police increased directed patrols, worked with business owners, and temporarily stationed a camera trailer in the shopping center on Columbine Road.
No similar burglaries were reported after Nov. 20, 2021, police said.
Mahomed has not been arrested, and a summons has been issued for him to appear in court earlier in July. If convicted of the felony burglary count, Mohamed faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
EPLN reporter Frank Farrell contributed to this story.
Editor’s note: Eden Prairie Local News’ policy is not to name individuals charged with crimes in Eden Prairie except in instances involving public officials, particularly significant crimes, or in other cases deemed appropriate, in which EPLN will follow the case through the court system.
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