(KMSP) - A Lakeville Middle School principal was charged with stalking Wednesday after police say he hacked into several people's computer accounts with personal information he obtained by breaking into their houses and cars, even at one point allegedly stalking the detective investigating him.
The initial investigation started last month when Apple Valley Police got a tip about unauthorized access of a school district computer belonging to an assistant principal who lived in the city, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators searched Lakeville Middle School Principal Christopher Endicott's house in relation to the incident, finding personal information for as many as 10 victims--including Social Security numbers, passwords and addresses, among other things.
He was placed on leave from the school district Jan. 12 as a result of the investigation.
"There's really no pattern for who he chooses as his victims," said Captain Nick Francis of the Apple Valley Police Department. "Anybody who's had contact with him, anybody who has worked with him in the past--there's no relationship. It might be someone who he has casual contact with that he decides that he decides he wants to get more information on and victimize."
A detective subsequently placed a tracking device on Endicott's car, which remained active for several weeks. During that time, the officer reported that the 48-year-old had been located near his personal residence--over six miles away from Endicott's. Then, a few days later on Feb. 3, officers spotted him outside the Apple Valley Police Department--though he never entered the building or talked to anyone, driving off a short time later. He did this two more times over the next week.
Police believe Endicott found and removed the tracking device from his vehicle earlier this week, which prompted investigators to execute another search warrant at his house. In addition to more personal information, they found several checkbooks from the Lakeville School District.
As a result of the charges he currently faces one year in prison and a $3,000 fine, though investigators say Wednesday's charges are likely just the beginning. His next court appearance is scheduled for early March.