Quick guilty plea, sentence for Super Bowl week heist of gas masks, bomb detection equipment


When Emitt Long discovered what was in the large case he stole from a car parked downtown during Super Bowl week, he couldn’t get rid of it fast enough or plead guilty quickly enough. Long was sentenced to 20 months in prison, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Long, 46, who had no permanent address, pleaded guilty on March 2 to one count of theft valued at over $35,000. Monday morning he was sentenced to the 20 months, which will be served concurrently with another theft conviction and a probation violation.

According to the criminal complaint, and the statement given by Long, at approximately 9:48 p.m. on Jan. 30, police were dispatched to 3rd Street and 4th Ave. S. on a call of a car break-in. Police met a witness there who reported that he was walking in the area and saw Long get out of a green sedan, walk up to a parked car, take items out of the car through a window, put them in his car and drive away. The witness gave police the license plate number for the green car.

As they were talking with the witness, the owners of the car approached and identified themselves as law enforcement officers.  They stated that the case in the car contained radiation and bomb-detection equipment, valued at more than $80,000. They had the equipment as part of their duties during the Super Bowl.

Officers traced the green car's registration to a Robbinsdale address. As they were talking to the homeowner, Long walked out of the house and was arrested.

He confessed to the crime almost immediately. He told police he was driving on 3rd Street when he saw the car and decided to pull in behind it and steal whatever was inside. He told police he used a screwdriver to break a window and he reached in and grabbed the large case and a lunchbox cooler and drove off.

When he looked at what he stole, he decided to throw everything in a dumpster, except the two gas masks, because he wanted to smoke weed out of them. Police recovered all of the missing items.

In court at his sentencing, when asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Long replied, “I’m tired of this. I want to hug my wife before I go.”

Long Criminal Complaint (PDF)