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Police stop robbery in progress

Robert Lee

A burglary in progress was reported at a building owned by Alexandria Industries, and police arrested a 34-year-old Alexandria man inside the building.

Robert Lee was arrested Sunday, Dec. 23, and he has been charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree criminal damage to property, both felony-level crimes.

The Alexandria Police Department was dispatched at about 10:20 a.m. for a burglary in progress to 251 Sunset Way NE in Alexandria. The building, located east of Hilltop Lumber off of North Nokomis Street, is owned by Alexandria Industries.

The building appeared to have external damage and broken windows, and the person who called police was reportedly concerned about the possibility of someone being inside the building.

According to the criminal complaint, here's what happened:

When police officer Chris Swanson arrived on the scene, he observed a blue vehicle on the west side of the building, parked in the grass. He also saw two open basement windows on the same side of the building. Once other officers arrived, a perimeter was set up around the building.

Upon entering the building, officers found computers and other miscellaneous items strewn about the building, and numerous drawers were left open. Officers searched the building and found Lee hiding behind a file cabinet in a basement office, according to the complaint.

Officers placed Lee under arrest, and while searching him found $500 in cash, two Alexandria Industries credit cards, two computer flash drivers and two hypodermic needles.

While investigating the scene, officers observed pry marks on the broken basement windows and pry marks on doors inside the building. A pry bar was also found in a basement office.

Several items inside the building were damaged, including two vending machines that had change boxes removed.

Several bags close to the east door of the building contained computers and other electronic equipment. Two large televisions had also been removed from an office inside the building.

According to the criminal complaint, estimated damages to the building and items inside are in excess of $1,000.

No injuries were reported and no weapons were found at the scene. The incident is still being investigated.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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