ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (KMSP) - While the rest of the Twin Cities was digging out from a massive April snow storm, the owners of CineMechanics in St. Louis Park were waking up to a nightmare.
About $850,000 dollars worth of high-end movie equipment was stolen. Now, after a months-long investigation, police are close to solving the case.
A search warrant filed Tuesday in Hennepin County Court claims there are several people involved in the ring and that they're selling the stolen equipment across the country.
Two homes were searched and warrants have been executed for at least seven cell phones.
A Las Vegas sting operation even led investigators to one of the Minnesota suspects and four lenses that were stolen that night.
Police say there’s been a known increase in camera equipment thefts at stores across the metro in the last year. Stores in Minneapolis and Golden Valley have reported people renting equipment, insuring it and then claiming it was stolen once it was time to return it.
Knowing of the recent thefts, one of the CineMechanics employees flagged a call from a man saying he was looking to rent. The employee refused to rent to the man because he didn’t sound like he knew a lot about the expensive equipment. When the burglary occurred a few days later, police linked that number to other camera theft suspects.
Now, this search warrant looks to access the phone records to that number and hopefully close this case once and for all.