Lakeville police track prints to alleged thief
Alert residents helped Lakeville police capture Mathew Dyllon Danay, 18, whom interim police Chief John Kornmann said was a one-man crime spree.
Following up on a 12:30 a.m. 911 call of a suspicious man near a residence on Ketchikan Court in Lakeville on Dec. 9, officers found and followed fresh footprints that led to 25 mailboxes, three vehicles and various residences, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint filed Dec. 11.
Police say they found one of the mailboxes with prints leading to it and mail had been ripped up and strewn about on the street.
The complaint states that the footprint trail also led to a vehicle with the door wide open and the interior appeared to have been rifled through.
Officers reported the prints led to at least two garage service doors, but it appeared access was not gained to the interior of the garages.
Eventually, the prints led officers to Danay, of Lakeville, who ran and hid under a bush where police discovered him, the complaint stated.
It said police found he was carrying a folding knife, flashlight and empty backpack. They say they also found a window punch near where Danay had been.
The complaint states Danay told officers he had left home intending to steal money from cars, admitted to entering three cars and attempting to enter four others, checking three mailboxes and ripping up mail he found in one of them.
He also allegedly admitted he attempted to break into two homes through the side garage door but they were locked.
Police say Danay stated that if the doors had been unlocked, he would have entered with the intent to steal items inside.
He also allegedly admitted to carrying a window punch, and described to officers how to break out car windows using a punch.
Kornmann said one of the officers tracking Danay was wearing a device that calculated officers tracked the prints for 5,300 steps, equal to 2.46 miles.
“This becomes a one-man crime spree because he could do numerous attempted burglaries,” Kornmann said. “His intent was to enter vehicles and get items easily that carried big residual value.”
Danay is charged with felony possession of burglary or theft tools and tampering with a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.