Two teens face felony charges after allegedly participating in a raid on a restaurant near the Burnsville-Eagan border.
Emily Kay Schuster, a 19-year-old from Lakeville, is charged with making terroristic threats and simple robbery, both felonies. St. Paul resident Jesus Alexandro Ybarra, 19, has been charged with aggravated robbery in the first degree.
At about 9:45 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, the Burnsville Police Department was dispatched to a restaurant on Cliff Road due to a robbery report. On arrival, officers found a single employee, two open safes, a pillaged register and a trail of cash.
The employee, referred to as Witness 1, told police that he was working in the back of the store, just before close, when suddenly all the lights were shut off. Three men in dark clothing and bandanas covering their faces burst in. One of them put a stun gun to his neck and told him to open the cash register, which he did. He was then ordered to lay face down on the floor. Two of the men emptied the register of cash, while another one opened the safes. After taking most of the money, they fled out the back door.
Circumstances suggested a culprit with inside knowledge of the restaurant, according to the police report. Witness 1 stated that the backdoor was locked and could not be opened from the outside without a key. Witness 1 reported that the men knew the safe codes, information known only to workers at the eatery.
The restaurant's district manager arrived and did a count: All told, $1,874.30 was missing. The manager was also able to provide officers with surveillance video. In the video, a young woman resembling Schuster enters the restaurant and goes straight to the bathroom in the back. The same woman exits the bathroom and opens the back door to let the three men inside. The robbery then unfolded much as the initial witness described.
Burnsville officers and an Eagan K-9 unit started a track out of the backdoor. Behind the restaurant the officers found an X26 Taser and cash scattered on the ground. Officers also saw a vehicle parked in back with the engine running. A male was sitting in the driver's seat, Witness 2, who said he was there to pick up a friend. After searching the car, officers found a black bag and two way radio. In the bag was a black jacket and red bandana. Witness 2 said the bag belonged to his roommate, Ybarra, who had told him to show up at 10 p.m.
Initially, Witness 2 claimed that he didn't know why Ybarra needed to be picked up. Eventually he admitted that he'd heard Schuster, Ybarra and others planning the robbery, but he didn't want to be involved. With pressure from Ybarra, he agreed to wait in the parking lot.
When he arrived at the back of the restaurant he didn't see anyone. As he pulled in, a black pickup sped away.
Ybarra was arrested when he returned home the next day, Jan. 22, dressed in all-black clothing with a red bandana in his possession. Officers seized three throwing knives and $456.22 in cash from Ybarra. They also took Ybarra's shoes, which had a tread pattern that appeared to match a print left behind the counter at the restaurant. Schuster and two other males were with him at the time of his arrest.
When questioned, Ybarra denied knowledge of the robbery, according to the report. He said he'd spent the whole day with his girlfriend. He told police that the money was from his grandmother. The next day, Ybarra admitted to the robbery but refused to identify anyone else involved.
Schuster was arrested as well. After more than one round of questioning, she told police that she had opened the back door, but did not know of any plans to rob the restaurant beforehand.
After putting a trace on the Taser, investigators discovered that it had accidentally been left at a residence connected to Ybarra after a search warrant was executed by law enforcement.
Both Schuster and Ybarra remain in custody at the Dakota County Jail.