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Bungling Thief Leaves Passcode-Free Cellphone Behind In Stolen Van – WCCO

Originally published on June 6

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What we’re about to share will probably make you shake your head in disbelief.

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Robbers took a van, but left behind something laughable when they ditched it hours later.

It happened last month in the Field neighborhood of Minneapolis, when Crystal and Hamza Alhabarneh were sound asleep.

“They rode up on a bike,” Crystal said.

Their van, also asleep, was parked in front of their house — until someone showed up to steal it just after midnight. Crystal says it was a clunky operation from the start.

She things it took them nearly an hour to hot wire the car before backing it away.

“He could only get it to go in reverse,” she said.

But there were a few problems with the crime. The first one being that the van — a big, wrapped, branded carpet cleaning business van – was not exactly discrete.

“Like three blocks ahead of where I was I saw it drive across the street right in front of me down 40th, and I was like, ‘That’s our van!’” Crystal said.

(credit: CBS)

Just hours after it was stolen from 46th and Portland, Crystal spotted the van at 40th and 4th Avenue. She chased it down an alley and confronted the driver.

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“I was like, ‘That’s my van!’ And he took off,” she said.

He finally ditched the van at 38th Street and 11th Avenue.

“The dash was completely ripped off,” she said.

Tons of equipment for her husband’s carpet cleaning business that was inside is gone. The van is likely totaled.

But there was also a laughable discovery.

“He left his cellphone in the passenger’s seat,” she said. “It didn’t have a pass code. It just said, ‘Hold down to unlock,’” Crystal said.

And when she unlocked it?

“He was still logged into his Facebook Messenger, it had text messages where he was sending a picture of the equipment to try to and sell it to people,” she said.

A clunky crime with a sliver of humor, and a good head start for investigators.

Her husband said he had to cancel jobs because of this ordeal. It impacted their business, and the equipment is expensive.

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They did file a police report, but haven’t been told the criminals were caught.

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