A Richfield man has been charged with burglarizing a Minneapolis home while the resident slept, making guitars, cameras, an iPad, a laptop computer and DVDs—but leaving his cell phone behind.
Cody John Peterson, 23, is charged with first-degree burglary, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of six months behind bars.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Minneapolis Police Officer Phillip Gagnon, police were called to an apartment on the 2700 block of Hennepin Avenue South just before 8 a.m. Sept. 6 after the homeowner reported he had been burglarized.
The victim told police that he got home about 1 a.m. and dead-bolted his apartment door before he went to bed. He said he woke at about 7 a.m. and discovered items missing from his apartment—and an unfamiliar cell phone lying on his couch.
The victim said he was missing several guitars, his wallet, an iPad, a laptop computer, several DVDs, a television and some cameras and camera lenses. He said he couldn’t believe he had slept through the burglary, but said it was probably because he slept with his head next to the air conditioner and didn’t hear anything.
Police noted that the victim’s front door had been forced open, and they found a fingerprint on his TV stand. According to the complaint, police entered the fingerprint into a database and found that it matched prints belonging to Peterson, who has a lengthy criminal history.
Officers also searched the cell phone and found several photos of Peterson, along with text messages sent from the phone to a woman that Peterson called “Jewels,” asking her to come and pick him up. The messages said, “I have a car full of stuff,” and “This is big money,” according to the complaint. A third message asked Jewels to pick him up at a coffee shop directly across the street from the victim’s apartment.
On Sept. 12, a man who identified himself as "Cody" left a message on the investigator’s phone, asking who had been calling his number. An investigator called back, and Peterson said he had lost his cell phone three weeks earlier but hadn’t reported it missing. He gave the investigator a nonexistent address in St. Paul, the complaint charges.
Police determined that Peterson was living in a home in the 7500 block of Colfax Avenue South in Richfield and executed a search warrant on Sept. 12. When no one responded to knocks, police forced the door open and found Peterson in the basement and the woman known as “Jewels” hiding in a basement closet.
According to teh complaint, the woman told police that she had picked up Peterson at about 4 a.m. Sept. 6, and he had “a bunch of stuff” on the sidewalk with him, including guitars and a television.
Police searched an entertainment center in the basement and found the stolen cameras, iPad and video game consoles. They also found the four stolen guitars in different rooms in the basement.
Peterson has been released from custody on a $10,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Oct. 8 in Hennepin County District Court.