Two men charged with hijacking woman at Rosedale Center in Roseville – Twin Cities

Two men have been charged with first-degree robbery for allegedly hijacking a woman at gunpoint last month at the Rosedale Center in Roseville.

Leon Kismit Bell, 48, of St. Paul, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 22, of Richfield, were charged Thursday in connection with the Feb. 16 carjacking in the southeast parking lot of the mall, located at the west of Snelling Avenue and north of Minnesota 36.

Leon Kismit Bell, left, and Jack Mitchell Piche. (Courtesy of Dakota County and Ramsey County Sheriff’s Offices)

Surveillance video from the mall parking lot shows the carjacking, according to criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court. After investigators identified the suspects as Bell and Piche, warrants were issued for their arrest.

Piche was arrested in south Minneapolis on Wednesday and remained in the Ramsey County Jail on Friday in lieu of $100,000 bond. At the time of his arrest, he was on parole from the Ramsey County Jail after posting $20,000 bond in August 2020 on charges of Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

Bell was not arrested for his alleged role in the carjacking. Since 1991, he has been convicted of 18 felonies in multiple Minnesota counties and is currently on probation for theft last year in Dakota County.

The carjacking was the second in three days at Rosedale Center, prompting Roseville police to release surveillance photos and offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrest and conviction.

CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS

According to the criminal complaints against Bell and Piche:

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on February 16, Roseville police officers responded to a call that a car had been stolen from the owner at gunpoint. A woman, who was upset, said when she got out of her Acura SUV, a man approached her and said, “Give me your keys” while pointing a handgun at her stomach . The barrel of the gun almost touched her. A second man was also involved in the carjacking, she told police.

A witness told police that two men had walked from the direction of the bus stop before committing the robbery, according to the charges.

An officer in an unmarked police cruiser saw the stolen SUV heading south on Interstate 35W from Minnesota 36. The driver went over his shoulder and changed lanes quickly without signaling. The officer followed the SUV into south Minneapolis, but lost sight of it.

Investigators determined that the two suspects had boarded a bus at Park & ​​Ride I-35W and County Road C prior to the robbery. Using CCTV, they tracked them to Key Inn at 2550 Cleveland Ave. N. and learned that Piche had rented a room there, according to the complaint.

Mall CCTV shows Piché and Bell getting off a bus and walking towards Granite City Food & Brewery. Soon they both turned to see the woman in her SUV and they “followed the vehicle through the parking lot as the victim searched for a parking space,” according to the complaints.

As she parked, Bell approached from the driver’s side, while Piche was from the passenger side. Bell put a handgun to the victim’s stomach, the charges allege, and Bell and Piche got into the SUV.

ARREST MADE

Roseville police arrested Piché on Wednesday near Lake Street and 17th Avenue in Minneapolis after obtaining a warrant to “ping” his phone. Police located the stolen SUV a few blocks away.

In a police interview, Piché admitted his involvement in the carjacking and said Bell was with him and Bell pointed the gun at the woman, the charges allege.

Piche said Bell was “still carrying a gun” and a stolen car they had driven in Roseville had been towed away, so they took a bus to Rosedale, according to the charges.

Piche said Bell told him he was going to steal his vehicle from someone he agreed to the plan because Bell was “helping me get high,” according to the charges.