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Alleged baby stroller bandit awaits trial for charges related to string of thefts in Cokato
DEC. 19, 2011

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

COKATO, MN – A rash of burglaries and thefts reported in Cokato in August and October are alleged to be the works of Tyler John Schumann, 22, of Columbia Heights.

The first incident reported to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office took place Aug. 1 at 12:05 p.m. at Cokato Elementary. A woman reported her Garmin GPS unit, valued at $150, had been stolen from her car within the past four hours.

According to the criminal complaint, a witness saw a male pushing a stroller past that location earlier that morning.

The second incident was Aug. 14 when a theft report was taken at Elim Mission Church, where a male party reported a Smart phone and checkbooks had been taken from his vehicle while he was attending church services.

A report of a burglary took place Aug. 17 at a residence in Cokato, where two bikes had been stolen from a detached garage sometime in the previous week, according to the complaint. The owner later reported a missing circular saw.

Schumann is charged with third degree burglary in this incident, with a maximum sentence of five years prison, $10,000 or both.

In October, a Cokato business owner reported someone in the front office while she was in the back room. When she went to look, no one was there, but her purse with a digital camera inside, a cell phone, and a ring was missing from her desk.

Upon running outside, she noticed a man on the sidewalk pushing a baby stroller. When she yelled for him, he took off, according to the report.

Investigation using an automated pawn system showed the ring and cell phone, as well as the GPS units stolen earlier, has been received at two different pawn shops in St. Paul and showed the items had been sold by a female who was known to be associated with Schumann.

Detectives also discovered one of the bikes and the saw listed in the automated pawn system.

The woman later admitted to pawning the items and giving the money to Schumann, according to the criminal complaint.

During a photo lineup, the business owner and earlier witness identified Schumann as the suspect, according to the report.

Given this information and that of the woman, a search warrant was executed Oct. 13 at Schumann’s residence on 242 Third Street in Cokato. Detectives found the Smart phone that had been reported stolen.

Schumann admitted to taking the GPS unit, the purse with a camera and cell phone inside, and the Smart phone. He stated he didn’t remember stealing the ring, but said he may have grabbed it and did not remember because he “was always stoned,” according to the criminal complaint.

Total value of the thefts are $1,450; a felony that could result in a five-year prison sentence, $10,000, or both.

Schumann is also being charged with felony-level financial transaction card fraud after a purse was reported stolen from a vehicle located outside the Cokato Public Library.

The sheriff’s department was later notified that a debit card from the stolen purse had been used at the Iron Horse bar, as well as at the Sinclair gas station in Howard Lake. Surveillance video showed Schumann using the card. The total amount charged was $309.50. The maximum sentence for this charge is five years, $10,000, or both.

Schumann is at a Fairbault correctional facility for charges related to terroristic threats.

His court date is set for Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. at the Wright County Government Center.

Charges for the woman in connection with Schumann have been sent to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

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