Duluth police arrested two 19-year-old Two Harbors men Friday in connection with the break-in at a Congdon Park neighborhood house where a mother and her 9-year-old son were bound at gunpoint while burglars searched for money.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, one of the burglars in the home invasion threatened to shoot the boy if the mother didn't tell them what they wanted to know. The men allegedly bound the mother's and son's hands with white electrical zip ties.
David Earl Schiller and Jonathan Gary Phipps each were arrested on charges of first-degree burglary and two counts of kidnapping.
Schiller is being held in the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul. Phipps is being held in the Lake County Jail in Two Harbors.
The men are accused of breaking into the home in the 3400 block of East First Street about 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 30.
Kelly Hurley, one of the victims of the crimes, couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
The criminal complaint filed against Schiller alleges that he and another man demanded to know where a safe in the house containing $15,000 was located. The victims told police that both intruders were carrying firearms.
A confidential informant told Duluth police that Schiller admitted to him that he committed the robbery along with his roommate. The informant told police that Schiller asked him if he knew of anyone who had money. The informant also said that he had several conversations with Schiller over the summer about the layout of the Hurley house and that the defendant had "scoped out'' the residence five to 10 days before the incident.
The informant told police that Schiller said the guns used in the burglary were real but that they were unloaded.
According to the criminal complaint, Schiller is a first-year student at St. Thomas University in St. Paul. He was arrested at a St. Paul apartment early Friday.
Sgt. Bob Shene, supervisor of the Duluth police Violent Crimes Unit, met with the victims' family Friday afternoon. He declined to comment on the case.
MARK STODGHILL covers public safety and courts. He can be reached weekdays at (218) 723-5333 or by e-mail at email@example.com.