Charges: Man used stolen machete in string of Target robberies in St. Paul

Charges: Man used stolen machete in string of Target robberies in St. Paul Photo: KSTP-TV

April 16, 2019 02:47 PM

A Minneapolis man is accused of robbing several Twin Cities stores with a machete.

Criminal complaints say Abdikadir Ayanle Ali, 32, robbed several stores in the Twin Cities, including several Target stores in St. Paul multiple times, while carrying a machete.


He is charged with four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery, according to criminal complaints. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and/or a $35,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint, an employee at the Target at 1300 West Lake Street in Minneapolis saw a man later identifed as Ali using a large, serrated machete to cut security packaging from cellphones in the store on Nov. 11, 2018. The employee told police Ali then turned toward her, pointing the machete at her and said, "Get back, get away," the complaint says. After she ran away, surveillance video showed him leaving the store a short time later.

The day prior, a criminal complaint says Ali displayed the large machete at the Target Express on Ford Parkway in St. Paul, where he is accused of stealing nearly $640 worth of merchandise.

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On Nov. 15, a complaint alleges Ali used the machete to remove secruity straps from merchandise at the same store. It states that after the security straps were removed, Ali put the merchandise in a laundry bag and fled, taking over $1,700 worth of merchandise. It also says loss prevention officers spotted Ali, but didn't intervene because he had the large machete.

Then, on Nov. 28, a complaint says Ali went to the Target on University Avenue in St. Paul, walked to the electronics department and pulled out the machete, and then used it to cut five cellphones from a display rack before fleeing with the phones, which were valued at nearly $860.

And, on Dec. 23, Ali went back to the Target Express on Ford Parkway, grabbed a duffel bag, filled it with merchandise totaling nearly $415, using a knife to remove secruity straps, and stole it all, a complaint alleges.

After his arrest, complaints say Ali confessed he "hit" Midway Target at least 10 times, in addition to other Target stores in Highlands, Midway Walmart, TJ Maxx and others. 

A complaint says Ali told police he stole the machete from Walmart and selected it specifically because of its size. He also is alleged to have told authorities that if staff saw him with the machete, they wouldn't stop him, but said he never threatened anyone, only used it to intimidate those he encountered.

Ali said multiple times that he knew better than to do what he did, the complaints state, but blamed the robberies on his meth addiction and his need to support his habit.

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