An alert Eagan resident helped put an end to a string of overnight burglaries when he called police after hearing noises in his garage.
Police arrested 28-year-old James Francis Muelken and 23-year-old Andrew Joseph Fischer, of Prior Lake, following a high-speed chase early on Friday morning. Police suspect both men were involved in five separate burglaries committed over a several-hour span in Eagan on Thursday evening and Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, both were being held at the Dakota County Jail, pending charges.
Police received a call from an Eagan resident on the 1300 block of Balsam Trail East in Eagan at 3 a.m. on Friday. The man told authorities he heard noises in his garage, and saw two suspects run toward a parked truck in front of his residence.
Police arrived in the area and found the two suspects outside a truck. As officers approached, the men allegedly fled on foot. Officers tracked them for a half-mile through freshly-fallen snow, but police say the suspects were able to evade arrest by stealing a van from a nearby residence.
Officers located the van on Wilderness Run Road and pursued through neighborhoods and onto Diffley Road, where the pursuit reached speeds of 75 mph. The chase ended when the suspects lost control and crashed near the intersection of Diffley and Blackhawk Roads, police say.
After another short foot chase, Eagan police arrested the men, and identified them as Muelken and Fischer. Muelken has a lengthy criminal history including a several burglary and receiving stolen property convictions, according to the Minnesota courts database. Fischer has a prior convictions for theft and possession of a controlled substance.
Rosemount, Apple Valley, Mendota Heights, Burnsville, West St. Paul and Minnesota State Patrol officers assisted the Eagan Police Department during the incident.