Sunday, August 13, 2006

When Unusual Becomes Usual

How often have we heard lately city police spokesmen or a police chief describe a recent violent robbery in their city as "unusual" or an aberration?

The recent armed robbery of two women in Edina at the upscale 50th & France area, which I wrote about here and here, was described as unusual. Other armed robberies in previously quiet sections of Minneapolis have been described as aberrations or out of the norm. And now an armed robbery in Lakeville, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul, is also described by Police Chief Steve Strachan as "unusual."

As violent criminals push out to new territory, is the unusual becoming usual?

The latest story was brought to my attention by reader Indy R. (H/T), and it's out of a publication called This Week Online: "Charges filed in robbery of pedestrians" [The story also appears in the Pioneer Press here].

Posted: 8/11/06

by Derrick Williams

Thisweek Newspapers

Two Lakeville men who were walking along Gerdine Path near Dodd Boulevard were robbed at gunpoint on Aug. 5 in what Police Chief Steve Strachan described as an “unusual” robbery.

“Most of the time robberies occur at establishments and businesses,” Strachan said. “This was unusual because it was a residential street and the suspects set out specifically to victimize pedestrians.”

Three men, 18-year-old Hassan Abdul of Eagan, 18-year-old Wod Talian of Burnsville, and 18-year-old Demetrius Lee Johnson of Apple Valley, were charged Tuesday by the Dakota County Attorney’s office with first-degree aggravated robbery.

Additional charges could be looming after authorities learned of a similar pedestrian holdup that occurred that morning in Burnsville.

Strachan said that authorities are investigating whether the three men are involved in that incident as well.

According to Lakeville Police, the pedestrians said they were approached by two men who asked for directions to a local restaurant. After giving directions, the pedestrians began to walk away when one of the men pulled out a handgun and took their wallets and cell phones.

Lakeville Police responded to the incident and began checking with local gas stations when they learned that one of the stolen credit cards had been used to purchase gas.

“That is how we hooked them up to a vehicle,” Strachan said.

Lakeville Police broadcast a description of the vehicle and Apple Valley Police stopped a car later that evening.

The robbery victims were able to identify the men from a lineup.

A search of the vehicle yielded the weapon allegedly used in the robbery.

Bail was set at $60,000 for all three men. Their next court date is set for Aug. 28.

Derrick Williams is at lakeville.thisweek@ecm-inc
Yeoman's work by the Lakeville and Apple Valley police.

And by the way, lest those of a sensitive nature become offended, the fact that at least two of the suspects have Somali-sounding names should not, I repeat not, lead anyone to believe this is a trend. It's only a coincidence, an anomoly - very, very unusual.

You should not make a connection of the names of these suspects with the description of the recent Fringe Festival robbers ("mugged by two Somali men"), which I noted here.

That in turn should not lead to any funny ideas about the names of the suspects in the recent Samurai sword incident (Hossem Chalbi, 18, and Mohammed Khalil, 29), which was noted here.

None of that should be conected to the suspects here, or in any of these robbery stories here.

And please, whatever you do, don't make any connection to this behavior.

If you draw any conclusions, you're on your own. I just present the facts.

UPDATE: (H/T Rambix reader Bjorn):

This is just the beginning, and no matter how bad it gets, some people will always have trouble facing up to's a link to Somali immigrants in Norway are responsible for a rape epidemic, and the Norweigian govt will do worse than nothing.Bjorn 08.14.06 - 7:54 pm Gates of Vienna blog: "Norwegian Authorities Still Covering Up Muslim Rapes".

Back to the case at hand:

We have access to mug shots in Dakota County, why not Hennepin? Here are photos of the suspects and even the criminal complaint (when will Henn. Co. catch up with the times?):

Abdul Hassan

Wod Talian

Demetrius Johnson