A Coon Rapids man has been charged with stealing from his deceased neighbor’s apartment after calling 911 to report the man’s death but before emergency responders arrived on the scene.
Justin N. Whitehead, 35, was charged in Anoka County District Court with felony second-degree burglary in connection with the allegation that on Jan. 2 that he took criminal advantage of his 58-year-old David Levenhagen’s death.
Whitehead was charged Friday by summons and is due in court on May 15. A message was left with him Tuesday seeking his response to the accusations.
Police Chief Brad Wise said Tuesday that Whitehead “saw that the door was ajar” and went inside to find Levenhagen’s body. Whitehead then called 911, and it was “while waiting for emergency responders to arrive when he committed the thefts,” the chief said.
According to the criminal complaint:
Whitehead called 911 and said he went into Levenhagen’s apartment after noticing that his neighbor’s door “was left open for an extended period,” the charging document read.
A police officer reviewed surveillance video from the apartment complex in the 11300 block of NW. Robinson Drive and saw Whitehead re-enter the apartment multiple times and take two televisions, fishing poles, two tackle boxes, a portable jump pack for starting vehicles and other items.
Under police questioning, Whitehead admitted taking Levenhagen’s possessions and putting them in his apartment.
An autopsy disclosed that Levenhagen died from chronic alcohol abuse and suffered from severe pulmonary emphysema.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482