Grocery Store Robbery Was In-House Job

Jan. 5, 2005
Former manager who knew security systems well charged with theft; allegedly used alarm code, stole CCTV hard drive, disabled camera

When Kareen Remmy Minor abruptly quit his job as a manager at the Aldi grocery store in Little Canada the week before Christmas, he left on good terms. They're not so good now that he's been charged with taking more than $41,300 from the business in a burglary.

Minor, 26, of Little Canada, was arrested Tuesday and charged with burglarizing the grocery store after it closed on Dec. 19 a Sunday night, when the store's safe was fat from the weekend's shopping.

Minor is being held in the Ramsey County jail on $30,000 bail.

At first, the burglary had the makings of a mystery worthy of TV's Lt. Columbo. When managers arrived to open the grocery store on the morning of Dec. 20, they found the safe and till drawers had been cleaned out of their cash, but there was no sign they'd been forced open. The store's alarm system had never gone off.

A digital surveillance camera in the manager's office could have recorded the burglary as it happened, but the perpetrator had spray-painted the camera's lens with black paint. Any images that might have been recorded before the painting would have been stored on a computer hard drive kept in a utility closet but it, too, was gone. The closet had been opened with a pair of bolt cutters.

Employees told Ramsey County Sheriff's deputies that when the store's front door is unlocked, the person has 45 seconds to make it to the manager's office, punch a pass code into a keypad and deactivate the alarm.

When the workers checked the alarm system's computer record, they found the last person to leave the store the night before, a cashier, activated the alarm system when she left at 7:50 p.m. But it also showed that 46 minutes later at 8:36 p.m. someone deactivated the alarm, and then turned it back on at 9:19 p.m.

The store estimated $41,324.64 was missing. Managers told deputies the amount of money left in the store was unusually large because it contained the weekend's receipts.

Store employees said they suspected a former manager, Minor, who had quit the week before. They said that while he left "on good terms," according to the affidavit, "he had requested not to be held to a two-week notice."

A deputy got a search warrant for Minor's apartment and found bank statements showing he had made large deposits between Dec. 20 and 24. They also found a notebook containing the pass code belonging to the manager who had trained Minor, a lease agreement for a storage locker and a receipt for a pair of bolt cutters that were rented Dec. 17 and returned Dec. 19.

When deputies searched the storage locker, they found a duffel bag containing an Aldi moneybag containing more than $6,700.

Deputies also got search warrants for bank accounts. They found that on Dec. 20, Minor allegedly deposited $9,600 in one bank account and $7,500 into another.