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2 Charged In $24K Theft From State Fair Food Favorite

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) -- Two men have been charged with stealing $24,000 from a popular Minnesota State Fair food booth last week.

The money was stolen from the French Meadow Bakery and Café along Carnes Avenue on August 25, according to recently filed criminal charges.

According to the complaint, two men -- 52-year-old Robert Lee Love and 50-year-old Eric Landon Massey -- were captured on surveillance video coming into the booth's back door and breaking into the office.

"It was locked and the safe was left open by the night manager," said French Meadow's owner Chris Gleize. "Unfortunately, (the robbers) probably came for an iPod and got quite a bit more."

Gleize and his wife were asleep in the building during the burglary, according to the complaint.

The two men were identified after Gleize gave the surveillance video to State Fair Police. The booth upgraded its surveillance system about two years ago.

Police found more than $9,000 in cash hidden around Massey's apartment.

Gleize said the French Meadow booth was off to its best start at the State Fair in 14 years. The staff was shocked to learn what happened, and are doing their best to stay positive for the remainder of the fair.

The French Meadow owner says, since the burglary, they're making a lot more trips to the bank and trying not to keep much cash on hand.

"We have a great group of kids here and a great group of managers.  It was just an honest mistake," said Gleize.

Both Love and Massey have prior felony convictions -- 5 and 14, respectively -- on various counts of burglary, bank robbery, theft and fraud. Massey has also been convicted of manslaughter.

Massey was taken into custody. Police have not yet apprehended Love. Both are charged with first-degree burglary.

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