Police call out prosecutors for dropping prior charges against suspect in St. Paul burglaries

York was charged in a string of daytime burglaries in Shoreview and North Oaks last summer, but the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges.

Earl York/Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

A Minnesota man who was arrested Friday in connection to a burglary of a St. Paul restaurant was charged last summer in a string of burglaries and is a suspect in at least six other current cases, police said.

Earl York (referred to as both Earl Neal York and Earl Robert York in court documents) was arrested Friday as a suspect in the Jan. 24 burglary of The Gnome Pub in St. Paul. Owner Brian Ingram said his restaurant was burglarized again in the early morning hours of Feb. 7, but it’s unclear if York is suspected in that case as well.

Ingram runs multiple St. Paul restaurants and has been the victim of five burglaries “in less than a few months between all of our restaurants,” he said.

“So now every one of our restaurants, our offices, have all been robbed,” Ingram said in a video posted after the Feb. 7 incident.

“We’re not alone in this. I’m talking to lots of other business owners here up on Cathedral Hill that have all been robbed. A house last night just around the corner from us was robbed — big safe taken right out of their home,” he added.

“Carjackings all around us. Carjackings yesterday with kids in them and nothing but silence, nothing but crickets from our mayor. I haven’t heard a word from you, nothing. Haven’t heard a word from our city council members. Haven’t heard a word from our governor. Haven’t heard a word from anybody.”

Ingram said he’s “disgusted” by the rise in crime, but what upsets him the most “is the complete crickets from our elected officials.”

“Where are you elected officials? What are you doing? It’s time for you to step up and step out, and get out of your house. You collect a paycheck. You do all these things where all of us that have been suffering during the pandemic had nothing. And you do nothing. It’s time to step up,” said Ingram.

An image from security footage of the Feb. 7 burglary posted by Ingram on Facebook.

The St. Paul Police Department announced Friday that York, who “has no known address,” was “found in a vehicle parked in front of a house on the 100 block of Acker Street East and arrested by Ramsey County deputies.”

He was booked into the Ramsey County Jail but no charges have been filed yet. According to the Ramsey County Deputies’ Federation, York was charged in a string of daytime burglaries in Shoreview and North Oaks last summer, including the theft of more than $40,000 worth of jewelry, but the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges after finding him “incompetent.”

“We support and agree with local business owner Brian Ingram! Unfortunately, all too often, we see repeat offenders released from custody with little, if any, consequences,” the police union said.

The group said a criminal complaint filed against York describes him as a “career criminal” with 23 felony convictions. York is a suspect in at least six other cases, according to the Ramsey County Deputies’ Federation.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office warned residents last week about an increase in carjackings with handguns across the county.

“In the last week, 14 carjackings have been reported to law enforcement in the East Metro area,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. “Many of these stolen vehicles have also been used in a series of other crimes, including street robberies and additional auto thefts. This is a serious uptick in a criminal activity that began last summer.”

The St. Paul Police Department’s preliminary year-end crime statistics show the capital city experienced a 14.9% increase in property crimes in 2020, including a 70.5% increase in commercial burglaries and a 32.1% increase in robberies.

Additional images from security footage of the Feb. 7 burglary posted by Ingram on Facebook.