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Computer thief has change of heart

It's not every day that a River Falls patrol officer is flagged down by a suspect wanting to turn himself in. But that's just what happened downtown after midnight Saturday. A 21-year-old Lakeland, Minn., man fessed up that he had swiped a laptop computer from the new Bubba's Fried Chicken on Main Street.

The man said he was an Ethiopian citizen and declared it was time to get his life in order and stop doing bad stuff.

With that, he led several officers to a row of dumpsters in the Walnut Street alley where a Sony VAIO notebook was found hidden underneath next to his black cap.

The computer was in working condition and returned to Bubba's. The Ethiopian man was released after being given a $240 fine.

Last week, River Falls police also:

  • Arrested a 39-year-old local man for drunk driving-4th offense and resisting arrest. This was just before noon Sunday. Store clerks had allegedly refused serving the man at Dick's Plus Hometown Liquor because he seemed intoxicated and disorderly. An officer caught up with the suspect outside his home. The suspect allegedly fought off attempts to be handcuffed but was finally subdued, given a $1,000 fine and taken to county jail.
  • Arrested an 18-year-old local woman, first for shoplifting an eyeliner at ShopKo and then for allegedly having marijuana and a pot pipe in her purse. The woman was given a warning about the marijuana and two fines totaling $344 for stealing and for the drug paraphernalia.
  • Looked into three cases where local boys had their bicycles stolen. In each case, the bikes were left unlocked. One boy was inside EconoFoods when his bike was taken, one was inside McDonald's restaurant, and the other was swimming Sunday evening at the Glen Park pool. In a fourth case, a bicycle was taken from a closed, unlocked garage in the 1500 block of South Wasson Lane. This one is considered a burglary.

    See more in Police Beat, the July 29 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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