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Security team tackles suspect after armed robbery at Mall of America

Armed man arrested after robbing Mall of America store
Armed man arrested after robbing Mall of America store 03:08

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- A Mall of America security team tackled an armed suspect Friday afternoon after he swiped a toy from a kiosk and attempted to rob athletic jerseys from a hat store. 

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said that the suspect, identified as a 28-year-old Woodbury man, was apprehended after someone noticed him walking inside the mall with an "AR-15-style rifle" and called security.

A team quickly responded, cleared the immediate area and apprehended the man outside the Lids store. 

According to Hodges, the mall was not immediately put into lockdown as authorities did not want to escalate the situation. The chief noted that the man was walking through the mall "nonchalantly" with a loaded rifle at this side.

"He walked by a lot of people, and one person called [security]," Hodges said. He added that it's against mall policy to carry a gun inside the Bloomington mall.

Authorities watched the suspect on security cameras as he stole a mechanical dog toy from a kiosk before entering the Lids store, where he allegedly pulled out his rifle and demanded that staff put jerseys into a bag. As the suspect left the store, a mall security team tackled him. 

The suspect was not hurt, nor was any officer or person at the mall. 

"By the time this call came in, he was in custody in eight minutes," Hodges said. 

While Hodges said it was unclear if the suspect planned to rob any other stores in the mall, he said that investigators believe he robbed Twin City Pawn in Minneapolis earlier in the day.

What prompted the alleged crime spree remains unclear. Hodges said the suspect has a valid permit to carry and no criminal record. 

The suspect was booked into the Hennepin County Jail pending armed robbery charges. 

Holding up an orange jail uniform, Hodges told reporters: "We got a jersey for him." 

This incident is the second major security scare at the Mall of America in the last three weeks. In early August, gunfire sent shoppers running for cover. 

No one was hurt in that case, and five people are facing charges. 

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