Footprints in Fresh Snow Lead to Burnsville Burglary, Auto Theft Suspect

A set of fresh footprints in the snow leading from one Burnsville home to another following an auto theft led to the discovery of other stolen property and resulted several felony charges against the suspect.

Austin Quang-Anoulaa Bounleutay

A set of fresh footprints in the snow leading from one Burnsville home to another following an auto theft led to the discovery of other stolen property and resulted several felony charges against the suspect.

Dakota County charges against Austin Quang-Anoulaa Bounleutay say that in mid-March officers were dispatched on a report of a stolen vehicle from a garage near the 800 block of 143rd Street in Burnsville, MN. When officers arrived, they found tire tracks leaving the garage and footprints in the fresh snow leading into the garage.

An evidence gathering officer observed the imprint left and identified the “Timberland” logo in the impression. The officer followed the footprints to a nearby residence where the same imprint was found of the same shoe coming and going from the residence. 

The criminal complaint states that officers were familiar with the residence and knew that Bounleutay resided at the house [based on recent contacts]. Officers also found the same footprints going to a third residence where items had been taken from a vehicle parked outside.

While waiting for a warrant to search the residence where the footprints led, officers observed a vehicle exit the garage and recognized Bounleutay as the passenger. Officers performed a traffic stop and saw that Bounleutay was wearing boots. When asked, he confirmed they were Timberlands and he was subsequently detained.

A search of the residence determined Bounleutay was living in the basement. In his room, officers discovered a stolen laptop identified from a Bloomington school, over 300 Xanax pills, the key fob for the stolen vehicle (which the victim had left inside the vehicle prior to it being stolen), a loaded 9mm magazine, two wallets containing cards and IDs from previously reported thefts, and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.

Bounleutay told officers that he had taken Xanax and had blacked out, but said he remembered “bits and pieces,” and admitted to driving the vehicle to Mystic Lake Casino and leaving it there. Bounleutay also admitted that he’d broken into four vehicles that night and that the Xanax pills were his.

Bounleutay, 20, was just convicted in December on felony fifth-degree controlled substance and violation of a no contact order in a case where he was found with a digital scale, over 80 grams of a product containing THC and generic Xanax pills. Bounleutay received a stay-of-imposition (felony sentence not imposed) by Dakota County Judge Tracy Perzel and was released on probation with credit for 18 days already served in jail. The felony conviction makes Bounleutay ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition.

Bounleutay received the stay-of-imposition in December despite the fact that he has two other open Dakota County felony controlled substance cases from June 2017 and October 2018, for which he received statutory stays-of-adjudication on both (prosecution deferred). Bounleutay has been on supervised probation in those cases, and court records do not make clear why prosecution has not proceeded given Bounleutay’s recent narcotics conviction.

Bounleutay also pleaded guilty in January to felony violation of a domestic abuse no contact order but was subsequently released from custody to await sentencing in the case.

Bounleutay has been charged in the new case with four felony counts including first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, vehicle theft, felon in possession of ammunition and fifth-degree controlled substance. 

Court records show that Bounleutay has been granted a public defender and remains in custody in Dakota County Jail on $150,000 bail. He’s scheduled to make his next court appearance on the charges on April 9.

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