A St. Paul man with an extensive criminal history faces a new charge after police say he stole at least $830 of copper wire from an Eagan business to support his heroin habit.
Nathan James Crawford, 26, was charged with one count of felony theft, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Police were called to a retail improvement store in Eagan on Oct. 23 and met with a loss prevention employee, who said employees had taken Crawford into custody. Employees told police that Crawford allegedly entered the store, selected a cart, a shipping box and numerous rolls of copper wire, which he covered with the box.
Employees said Crawford walked through the store, then pushed the cart out of the store without attempting to pay for the items. Employees allegedly confronted Crawford in the parking lot.
After police took Crawford into custody, the man allegedly admitted to stealing the wire so he could get cash to support his heroin addiction, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office. Police say Crawford also admitted to successfully stealing the same amount of wire from the business one month ago.
Crawford has at least four prior convictions for gross misdemeanor and felony theft charges in Hennepin and Carver Counties.