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Police: Suspect responsible for the 'vast majority' of commercial burglaries

Police: Suspect responsible for the 'vast majority' of commercial burglaries

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A man with a history as a serial burglar in the Twin Cities has been arrested in Rochester in connection to a string of recent commercial burglaries in the area.

Brian Williams, 43, is expected to be charged on Thursday with at least three counts of second-degree burglary. However, police expect that number to grow as their investigation continues.

Photo: Brian Williams

"We believe he's committed the vast majority of these commercial burglaries," said Capt. John Sherwin of the Rochester Police Department

The department, with assistance from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department, has dumped "hundreds of hours" into investigating more than 100 commercial burglaries since Jan. 1.

The suspect was identified as Williams using surveillance footage, Sherwin said. Officers followed him to two businesses in Dodge County on Wednesday and arrested him on his trip back to Rochester. 

Williams has been in and out of police custody since 1990. Nearly all prior convictions stemmed from burglary or other theft-related charges.

"He's a very good criminal," said Sherwin. "But he's obviously not that good."

He had been living in Rochester under Intensive Supervised Release, a form of parole designed for high-risk offenders. 

Under the program, Williams was supposed to have a curfew restriction. However, police said his parole officer did not live in the same county and that they were not notified of Williams' move to Rochester.

Investigators were only able to locate him after sending out a crime alert across the state with a surveillance picture. Three separate agencies in the Twin Cities contacted local police to identify Williams, said Sherwin.

In light of the arrest, the department may lift its temporary hold on fees for false alarms at commercial buildings as early as June 1.


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(Cover photo: File / The.Comedian / Creative Commons)

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