Prosecutors say 26-year-old Todd Uhlenkott of Minneapolis and 37-year-old Shawn Bishop worked together to remove copper and brass from the site and pawn it.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Two men with extensive criminal records are charged with stealing scrap metal from the site of the old St. Paul Ford plant.
Prosecutors say 26-year-old Todd Uhlenkott of Minneapolis and 37-year-old Shawn Bishop worked together to remove copper and brass from the site and pawn it. Both are charged with multiple counts of burglary.
St. Paul Police officers were called to the site of the old Ranger plant at 966 S. Mississippi River Boulevard after a contractor working on demolition noticed two men inside a building standing next to a pile of metal. When the men saw the contractor they fled the scene. Squads found the men, Uhlenkott and Bishop, matching the suspect descriptions walking along Mississippi Boulevard and questioned them, but both denied being at the plant and refused to cooperate in interviews.
Investigators soon learned that contractors had put up trail cameras, usually used to capture images of deer and wildlife, after becoming frustrated with constant burglaries at the work site. Images from these cameras showed Uhlenkott and Bishop using a cutting torch to remove metal. The images show the men in the same clothing they wore on the day they were questioned by police.
Police also found that Uhlenkott and Bishop had made multiple trips starting Nov. 1 to Metro Metals to sell scrap copper and brass.
Both men have extensive criminal records, including multiple burglaries, and were both released from prison in the spring of 2013.