A Duluth man has admitted to committing a series of business break-ins over the past year, most of which occurred while he was on pretrial release.
Kyle Michael Carl, 25, pleaded guilty Monday in State District Court to six felony burglary charges in four separate cases. Four other counts will be dismissed under an agreement with the St. Louis County Attorney's Office.
Authorities said Carl was responsible for burglaries at Woodland Car Wash, Carmody Irish Pub, Fitment Group, U.S. Bank, Duluth Cider and Midtowne Manor and potentially other locations between May and October. He admitted to a number of the crimes, indicting he would trade stolen items for drugs.
Duluth police earlier called it a "significant arrest" in response to a rash of break-ins in the Lincoln Park business district and elsewhere in the city.
After entering the plea, Carl was released with conditions to a treatment facility. Sixth Judicial District Judge Dale Harris ordered an investigation of his background ahead of a Feb. 24 sentencing date. Prosecutor Korey Horn said the terms will be left to the discretion of the judge.
According to court documents:
The first incident occurred May 18, when Carl entered the Woodland Car Wash, 10 W. Austin St., and attempted to gain access to coin machines at the business. Officers said they found a suspect forced entry through a door and appeared to have pried into the backside of the machines. Also located at the scene were a screwdriver and ice pick. Carl was found in possession of additional tools when he was arrested by police responding to a burglary-in-progress call at the nearby Zen House restaurant.
On June 18, while Carl was out on conditional release, police were dispatched to a burglary at Carmody Irish Pub, 308 E. Superior St., where approximately $300-$400 in cash was missing. Police later used video to identify him entering the business, which had been burglarized on several prior occasions, through a back door of Michigan Street.
On July 15, law enforcement was called to the Fitment Group, 208 E. Superior St., where four laptops and two iPads were reported missing. Surveillance video showed Carl entering the business the night before, concealing his face with a red mask.
On July 22, police were called to U.S. Bank, 130 W. Superior St., where a number of personal items as well as keys for safety deposit boxes and cash bags were reported missing. Officers found pry marks "on many doors throughout the building" and video showed Carl entering with a keycard that belonged to a former custodian at the office.
On July 23, an officer arrested Carl on a probation violation warrant. In a search of his backpack, police said they found the keycard used to access U.S. Bank, along with clothing worn in the burglaries, spray paint, two screwdrivers, a 10-inch metal pry bar, two pairs of pliers and two wrenches, among other items.
Burglaries at Duluth Cider, 2307 W. Superior St., were reported Sept. 9 and 12. On the second date, police were notified that a pair of sunglasses, a box of industrial gloves, a pair of work boots and a Duluth Pack bag were missing from the production area. A review of surveillance video helped police identify Carl as the suspect.
After appearing on the new charges, Carl was placed into the intensive pretrial release program in early October. But authorities said the burglaries quickly resumed. Staff at Midtowne Manor reported several thefts to law enforcement Oct. 21.
Police said Carl entered a locked storage area at the apartment building Oct. 18 and twice Oct. 20, taking items including a propane torch, bolt cutter, two 18-volt battery packs, an impact driver and a reciprocating saw — all valued at over $630. When police executed a search warrant, Carl admitted to using a screwdriver to open the door. He acknowledged trading the stolen items for drugs.
Carl pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree burglary and five counts of third-degree burglary. Dismissed were two additional counts of third-degree burglary and two counts of possession of burglary tools.