Women charged with mail theft after arrest in Cottage GroveCOTTAGE GROVE - Two women were charged with mail theft after a Cottage Grove man spotted them while walking his dog and called police.
By: Patricia Drey Busse, South Washington County Bulletin, Worthington Daily Globe
COTTAGE GROVE - Two women were charged with mail theft after a Cottage Grove man spotted them while walking his dog and called police.
Chelsea J. Johnson, 30, of Maplewood, and Wanda L. Warden, 31, of South St. Paul, were seen going through mailboxes on Timber Crest Drive in Cottage Grove, according to the Washington County District Court Complaint.
Police responded to the area, and saw 10 mailboxes from 6610 Timber Crest Drive to 6642 Timber Crest Drive and four mailboxes from 6600 Timber Crest Drive to 6624 Timber Crest drive were open, according to the complaint.
Police stopped a car that fit the caller’s description near 70th Street and Granada Avenue, and found Johnson and Warden inside, according to the complaint. Officers found various mail, not addressed to the car’s occupants, including mail from St. Paul and Woodbury, the complaint says.
The women were arrested, and interviewed. Warden told police it was Johnson’s idea to steal mail, the complaint says. She said that Johnson drove the car while she pulled the mail out of the boxes.
After their arrest, police found a medicine case containing suspected methamphetamine and a glass pipe that appeared to have the drug’s residue on it in Johnson’s purse, the complaint says.
Johnson did not give a statement, the complaint says.
Warden is charged with two counts of mail theft, which each carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Johnson also was charged with aiding and abetting mail theft, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison and $5,000 in fines; mail theft, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and $5,000 in fines; fifth-degree drug possession, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines; and driving after revocation, which has a maximum sentence of 90 days in prison and $1,000 in fines.
Both women appeared in court on Sept. 23, and have jury trials scheduled in December.