Man with pickup truck full of weapons, ammo charged with burglary

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The St. Paul man arrested in Eden Prairie with a pickup truck with guns and ammunition was charged with a single count of third-degree burglary, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

John Ross Whitaker, who was arrested on his 25th birthday, was charged late Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make his first appearance Wednesday. He also was charged with possession of stolen property.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Louis Park Police were sent to the Frontiersman Sports gun store just before 2:30 a.m. on March 9 because a security alarm was triggered. Police did not find any sign of forced entry.

The store’s owner arrived and reviewed surveillance video, which revealed a man wearing all black clothing, shoes and black mask or balaclava in the store. The burglar walked to a display case and took a Walther and an H&K 9 mm handguns. He also stole about 40 boxes of ammunition and magazines for the guns and stuffed them in a duffle bag, the complaint states.

Other video showed Whitaker picked the lock on the back door and the lock on an interior door. He left out the back door and climbed into a light-colored pickup truck, according to the complaint.

At about 5:15 a.m. Monday, Whitaker rang the doorbell of an Eden Prairie home. The homeowner recognized Whitaker as one of his patients and opened the door. Whitaker was dressed in all black and began to speak nonsense, the complaint states. He also was driving a light-colored pickup truck with U-Haul lettering and the doctor eventually called police.

Eden Prairie Police Officer Moua found Whitaker near the home and while talking with him, saw a handgun in the left breast pocket of his coat. He was immediately arrested and officers recovered a second gun in the coat’s other breast pocket. The two guns were loaded and matched the two stolen from Frontiersman, according to the complaint.

In a search of the truck, police found a duffle bag containing a black ski mask, lock picking tools and ammunition. Two more guns were found in a backpack in the rear of the truck.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)