Scent Marketing

Grocery worker accused of robbing Aldi stores after his hours cut

Written by Neutral Scent Marketing Author, on March 6th, 2011

The complaint said Smith, 20, of Coon Rapids, dressed in black, wore a black ski mask and confronted an Aldi employee on April 8 as she went to the back door of the grocery store at 2537 County Road 10 in Mounds View to throw out some strawberries.Smith showed the employee a gun, ordered her back into the office and had her open the safe, the complaint said. He then placed zip ties on the employee wrists, bound her to the leg of a desk and took her cell phone, the complaint said. Kinnheber He took coins and cash from the safe and put them into his backpack, according to the complaint.The store manager told police that $2,965 was missing $1,200 in one dollar bills and the rest in change.The complaint said that on April 13 and April 14, two Aldi stores in Coon Rapids were robbed at gunpoint by a suspect who bound the employees with zip ties and had a backpack.Then on May 27, the Aldi store in Blaine was robbed at gunpoint, according to the complaint. Police responding to an alarm caught two males fleeing from the rear of the store, according to a different complaint filed in Anoka County. Inside, police found two employees who had been zip tied, that complaint said.The Anoka County complaint said the two arrested were Smith and Jonathan Mark Payson, 20, of Andover. The complaint said the two both admitted brandishing replica handguns at the Blaine store, taking money from the cash registers and zip tying the employees.According to the Ramsey County complaint, Smith told police he was upset because the Aldi he worked at in Coon Rapids cut his hours from 25 to 30, down to 5 to 8 per week. He told police he needed money, the complaint said.Smith told police he thought he stole about $3,800 from the Mounds View Aldi, and he said he used the money to go out to eat, go to a casino in Hinckley and buy a 50 inch television from Best Buy, the complaint said.According to the complaint, a search at Smith home in Coon Rapids turned up gloves, a backpack, a face mask, plastic bags containing zip ties, a Best Buy receipt dated April 16 totaling $2,047.55, a notebook with handwritten maps of an Aldi in Brooklyn Park and list of items to buy for a possible robbery.Smith was charged with first degree robbery in the Mounds View robbery and first degree robbery and two counts of false imprisonment in the Blaine robbery.Payson was charged with first degree robbery and two counts of false imprisonment in the Blaine robbery.Charges are pending in the Coon Rapids robberies.Richard Chin can be reached at 651 228 5560.Richard has written the only newspaper correction/clarification at the Pioneer Press in the form of a limerick, and is responsible for the first use of “snot rocket” in the paper. In the furtherance of journalism, he has flown on the Goodyear Blimp, driven the Wienermobile, was mistaken for a serial killer, appeared at a Saints game dressed as a urine specimen mascot costume, helped a Lutheran pastor build her coffin and once won the Wisconsin Wife Carrying Championship. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

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