February 08, 2018 10:11 PM
What started as an investigation into unauthorized access of a computer by a Lakeville middle school principal has turned into a stalking saga, with police alleging the principal stalked several victims, including a detective working on the case.
Christopher Jerome Endicott, 49, was charged Thursday with stalking to follow, monitor and pursue. The charge is gross misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year and $3,000 fine.
Investigators executed a search warrant at Endicott's Apple Valley home in January, and authorities found items that showed he was stalking an initial victim in addition to several other people, according to the criminal complaint. KSTP learned Endicott, who works at Century Middle School, and his wife, who works as a counselor at a different area middle school, were put on administrative leave on Jan. 18.
“He had personal information on them,” said Apple Valley police captain Nick Francis. “He had bank account information, personal identifying information, information you would need to open different accounts, on several different victims.”
Investigators believed Endicott not only followed his victims but possibly broke into their residences and vehicles, and they found personal information such as full identification with names, birthdays, social security numbers and passwords for applications used, the criminal complaint states. Those applications included children's names and maiden names for both victims and families, the complaint details.
To track Endicott, the Apple Valley Police Department obtained an order to put a tracking device on his vehicle, which was done on Jan. 12, and they set up several geo fences around the victims' homes, the charging document shows.
A detective who was tracking Endicott noticed on Saturday that Endicott's vehicle was close to the detective's home, and the criminal complaint states the detective was "panicked and concerned." A geo fence was then set up outside the detective's home, the complaint shows.
"There was no intent or no belief initially that the investigator would be a target of stalking until he pulled it up and learned 'Holy cow, I might be,'" Francis said in an interview Thursday.
RELATED: Lakeville Middle School Principal Arrested, Scheduled to Appear in Court Thursday
Two days later, on Monday, Endicott's car was again shown to be in the area of the detective's home. The same day, Endicott's car appeared in the parking lot of the Apple Valley Police Department in the morning, according to the complaint. The officers were concerned, since personal vehicles were parked in the lot, and "it was feared Mr. Endicott may have been looking for the detective's vehicle and/or documenting the license plate or other license plates," the complaint details.
"What we learned was that he was frequenting the police department, frequenting this detective's house, spending a lot of time here at the police department," Francis said.
Investigators saw his car again at 2:40 p.m., and Endicott remained in the lot parked for 45 minutes without leaving his car. The court documents state he was seen moving inside his car, but what he was doing was "unknown."
A geo fence was placed around the police department at that time, the complaint states.
When officers walked out of the building, he drove away, and he was tracked to Roseville at a location which appeared to be the Department of Motor Vehicles licensing center in Roseville, the document shows.
The complaint adds, "It is unknown if Mr. Endicott was attempting to locate motor vehicle registration information for the vehicles located at the Apple Valley Police Department."
Endicott returned to the area at 5:25 p.m. Though his vehicle did not enter the police department's lot, the complaint states, "it is believed that Mr. Endicott was conducting surveillance on the parking lot of the Apple Valley Police Department to determine if the detective's vehicle was still at the location."
The complaint details the following events: On Tuesday, Endicott was tracked at a victim's home in Shakopee. Shakopee police located him at 6:47 p.m., and investigators noticed at 7:10 p.m. the tracking device was no longer on his car.
"Detectives responded to Mr. Endicott's residence as a precaution as suspects who remove tracking devices are extremely dangerous and detectives felt as though Mr. Endicott needed to be located immediately," the complaint reads.
Investigators saw Endicott use a flashlight to look under his wife's car, and shortly thereafter a detective noticed his wife's car leave the residence, though it was unknown was driving the car.
Police obtained a search warrant for the residence that evening and located numerous electronic devices, hard drives and personal mail, which didn't belong to anyone living at his address. They also found property from the school where he worked, "including numerous checkbooks," the complaint states.
"Detectives noted that Mr. Endicott has a history of stealing and manipulating identities and banking information," it adds.
"There's no real pattern to whom Mr. Endicott decides to stalk or harass," Francis said. "Some are acquaintances, some are former co-workers, but there's not a stereotype of who he decides to stalk and harass."
It is also noted that Endicott pleaded guilty in 2016 to a shoplifting charge in North Dakota.
Endicott's wife said she did not drive his car on the dates he was observed, and did not know why her husband was in the area where the detective lives, the complaint states.
Endicott made his first appearance in court Thursday, and will be released on $5,000 bail or $1,000 with conditions. Those conditions include no contact with alleged victims and no use of electronics.
His next court appearance is scheduled for March 8.
The school district issued a statement to KSTP after the charges were made public saying, "The investigation is continuing and Mr. Endicott remains on administrative leave."
Theresa Malloy, Josh Rosenthal and Kirsten Swanson
Updated: February 08, 2018 10:11 PM
Created: February 08, 2018 01:54 PM
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