APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - A middle school principal is charged with misdemeanor stalking after police say he broke into a number of victims' homes to steal personal information and data, and one of those alleged victims was an Apple Valley Police detective.
Christopher Endicott is listed online as principal of Century Middle School in Lakeville, but a criminal complaint issued against him in Dakota County says the 49-year-old has been placed on leave.
That criminal complaint spells out how Apple Valley Police were notified of alleged unauthorized use of a computer by a middle school principal. As part of the initial investigation a search warrant was served at Endicott's home, which turned up evidence he was stalking not only the original victim but others as well.
Detectives say Endicott would break into the homes and vehicles of his victims, then steal items containing personal information including names of victims and family members, social security numbers, dates of birth, and passwords he could use to further stalk them. Police received a court order for a mobile tracking device, which they placed on Endicott's vehicle January 12. Electronic Geo fences were placed at the homes and workplaces of victims so police would know when Endicott was in the area.
On February 3 the detective working the case was monitoring Endicott's whereabouts when he learned that the suspect was near the detective's home. The detective appeared panicked and concerned to colleagues. An electronic Geo fence was placed at the detective's home, and over the next few days surveillance showed Endicott was extremely close to the home multiple times.
Prosecutors say the investigation has shown Christopher Endicott has an extensive history of stealing identities and manipulating the accounts and information of his victims. Even a police detective is left fearful and unable to sleep due to the alleged actions of the defendant.
Investigators stepped up their tracking of Endicott's movements and found he was spending time in the parking lot of the Apple Valley Police Department. When they observed him police walked towards the defendant's pickup truck and he suddenly drove away. They tracked him for several more days documenting stops near the home of a previous victim and the Apple Valley Police Department.
The night of February 6 detectives who were tracking Endicott's movements were alerted that the device on his car had been removed. Feeling the suspects who take such actions are extremely dangerous police responded to Endicott's home and served a search warrant. Inside the home officers found numerous electronic devices, computer hard drives, and personal mail that did not belong to anyone in the home, as well as checkbooks and other material from his former employer.
"Mr. Endicott’s actions have caused the detective and his family to be concerned for their personal safety and property. The initial investigation has shown that Mr. Endicott has an extensive history of stealing identities and manipulating his victim’s information and accounts. This also caused great fear in the detective because he was afraid of what Mr. Endicott may do with his information," reads the criminal complaint filed against Endicott. "Mr. Endicott’s actions have caused the detective to take extra security measures at his residence, including sleeping in the living room of his residence to better protect his family. However, the detective reported he barley slept for fear that that Mr. Endicott was going to come to his residence."
At this point police have not made clear what may be the motivation behind Endicott's alleged actions, and why he chose the victims he did.