FBI Now Investigating Theft Ring Targeting Family-Owned Businesses Across Twin Cities

May 21, 2018 10:44 PM

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned the FBI is now investigating a string of burglaries which targeted five different sports memorabilia stores in four separate cities.

Investigators said the burglaries all happened in 2017 with two stores victimized in Golden Valley; the other three businesses are located in St. Paul, Roseville and Hopkins. 

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RELATED: Thieves Hit Third Twin Cities Sports Memorabilia Store in 3 Weeks 

Investigators think all of the thefts, combined, have resulted in more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars in losses for the sports memorabilia stores.

An Anoka County search warrant obtained by KSTP indicates authorities searched a Stillwater home May 15, looking for a suspect and possible stolen merchandise.

The same search warrant seeks permission to look for the suspect and stolen merchandise at a home in Blaine where the mother of the suspect lives.

KSTP stopped by both homes Monday, but no one answered the door at either residence.

The search warrant said there is evidence to believe the some of the stolen merchandise has been sold on eBay and the seller uses the name "Jolleytrailman."

The search warrant said 9-inning Sports in St. Paul had lost over $100,000 in last year's burglary.

Rob Hunegs owns Twin Cities Sports Cards in Golden Valley and told KSTP his two stores, between both of them, lost "well over $100,000" and investigators have now identified a forensic match in one of those cases.

"I have been told by police that they have a DNA match and name connected to the burglary of my business," Hunegs said. "So, they are looking for him as well as the guy in the search warrant and it is clear to see these heists needed more than one person. It is a ring."

Hunegs said the whole experience has taught him a lesson and he now does business a little differently.

"None of the really, really good expensive stuff is out on the shelves," Hunegs said. "I now keep it locked away in a safety deposit box and if customers want to see it, they have to set up an appointment."

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said the FBI is now the lead agency in the investigation and HCSO is only assisting in the federal case.

No arrests have been made yet and KSTP has reached out to the FBI for comment but has not received a response.

Credits

Jay Kolls

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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