St. Paul man charged with attempted tool theft

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A St. Paul man arrested on Saturday during an alleged theft at Runnings made his first appearance on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Troy Bryce Mitchell, 53

Troy Bryce Mitchell, 53, has been charged with felony theft – take/use/transfer movable property – without consent.

According to the court complaint, an officer was dispatched at about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 to a report of an active theft at Runnings in Austin. The reporting party indicated that the suspect was running around the back of the store.

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Police made contact with Mitchell, who matched the suspect’s description. Mitchell claimed he had come to purchase a toilet and there had been power tools in the toilet box. He initially denied knowing the tools were in the box, then later admitted he had placed the power tools in the box with the intent to pay for just the toilet and not the stolen items.

Items found in the box included power tools, a generator, and other merchandise worth $3,350.11.

Surveillance video taken at Runnings showed Mitchell and a white male removing two toilets from their boxes and loading the empty boxes with various merchandise. Footage also showed them paying for the toilets, followed by the other suspect fleeing with his box when the security alarms went off. Mitchell was seen being stopped by a cashier. While speaking to Runnings staff, Mitchell asked the cashier not to look in the box.

A review of Mitchell’s criminal record shows prior convictions for financial transaction card fraud and multiple counts of theft.

Mitchell will appear in court again on Aug. 19.