Charging documents in two Twin Cities counties lay out details and reference a string of over twenty “till tap” thefts and robberies across the Twin Cities stretching from Anoka to Minneapolis and into Golden Valley and Columbia Heights throughout the month of May.
The defendant, identified in both complaints as 48-year-old Jamie Terrell Blevins of north Minneapolis, admitted to police that he took money without permission from several businesses and even pushed a security guard at a grocery store in at least one incident in Minneapolis, according to a Hennepin County (HC) criminal complaint.
The HC complaint explains that “till tap” robberies involve an individual presenting a bill for change or a small item for purchase to a cashier at a cash register, and when the cashier opens the till the robber leans over the counter and grabs as much money as possible before running from the scene.
A Minneapolis police investigation found over twenty till tap thefts taking place between May 6 and May 26. The HC complaint details four of them in Minneapolis, for which Blevins is charged, on May 9, 12, 22 and 26 at two Family Dollar locations, a Speedway gas station and a Cub Foods located on the 5900 block of Nicollet. A security guard attempted to stop Blevins when he fled from the Cub Foods location and Blevins pushed the guard out of the way, and admitted to doing so, the complaint said.
In all four HC cases, Blevins waited until the cashiers opened the till and reached in and took money and then fled on foot from each scene.
An Anoka County criminal complaint states that on May 21 just before 1 p.m., a man later identified as Blevins entered a Walgreens in Anoka and selected a sucker near the checkout area and handed the cashier a dollar bill to pay for it. When the cashier opened the cash register, Blevins reached in and grabbed a handful of cash from the register and fled on foot from the store.
During their investigation of the Anoka incident, officers learned that a man matching the same description as the perpetrator in their case had committed multiple till tap thefts in Golden Valley, Minneapolis, and Columbia Heights, the complaint says.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis, officers were able to identify Blevins after the May 22 incident at Speedway when he dropped his ID card as he was reaching into the till. Officers subsequently compared the ID to security footage and identified Blevins as the alleged perpetrator. Law enforcement from several police agencies worked together to identify Blevins and connect him to the incidents, according to the Anoka County complaint.
On May 20 and May 22, a Minneapolis Crime Watch page posted about two different incidents in which an entire cash register had reportedly been taken from a gas station in one incident near the Uptown area, and another “till theft” from a business on the 1900 block of 3rd Avenue South. The addresses of those locations were not from businesses included in the HC criminal complaint. A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson did not immediately reply to an email request prior to publication as to whether those two incidents are also connected to Blevins.
In a post-Miranda interview, Blevins said that he “did many more robberies” but couldn’t recall the specifics, the HC complaint said.
Blevins, whose address in both complaints is listed as a rental property on the 700 block of Queen Avenue North, was arrested by Minneapolis police and booked into Hennepin County Jail (HCJ) on June 3. He has been charged in Hennepin County with three counts of felony theft of less than $1,000 for three of the incidents, and one count of felony simple robbery involving the threat of force for the Cub Foods incident involving the push to a security guard. In Anoka County, Blevins is facing one count of felony theft under $1,000. The theft charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and the robbery charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Blevins was released from HCJ on June 7 following his initial court appearance in Hennepin County and was transferred to Anoka County Jail on a felony warrant for the charge in that county. Blevins remains in Anoka County Jail on $5,000 bail. Blevins is next scheduled to appear in court on June 26 in Anoka County and July 3 in Hennepin County.
It’s unknown whether more charges will be added from the other incidents referenced in the complaints.
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