Months-long investigation leads to charges for burglaries at apartments, Hugo's

    An East Grand Forks woman faces 35 years in prison for three counts of burglary after a five-month investigation led police to her arrest. Brina Lee Day, 29, is accused of stealing from two apartments and Hugo’s Family Marketplace grocery store in EGF.

    According to the court complaint, on October 10, 2017, at approximately 3:34 p.m., EGF police officers were dispatched to a 5th Avenue NE apartment building in EGF to investigate a burglary complaint. When they arrived, officers spoke to Tabitha Lynn Thomas who stated when she got home that afternoon the door to her apartment was closed but unlocked. She told her son to go watch television, but he said the television was gone and that’s where she noticed that a number of items (worth well over $1,000) were missing from the apartment. Ms. Thomas said she had only been living in the apartment for approximately two weeks. Later, she discovered additional items were missing that were worth about $2,400 total.

    An officer spoke to Brina Lee Day who lived across the hall from Ms. Thomas and she stated that her apartment had also been broken into, the door to the apartment was unlocked and open when she got home, her TV was missing and that she was too busy to file a police report at that time.

    On October 11, 2017, an officer spoke to Ms. Thomas again who stated that a number of items stolen from her apartment had been left outside of the door to her apartment along with a note signed by “B.Day.” Ms. Thomas also stated that Brina Lee Day asked if her tablet had location tracking on it, but she did not know how Brina Lee Day knew she had a tablet.

    On October 12, 2017, the officer spoke to Ms. Thomas again who stated that Brina Lee Day and Kyle Day had been yelling, “You f***ing b****,” and “F*** you”, through the door to her apartment as they moved items out of the apartment across the hall.

    On October 19, 2017, an officer was at Venus Drive in EGF when he noticed a rug on the kitchen floor that matched the description of a rug Ms. Thomas reported stolen from her apartment. The officer asked Jeremiah Gomez if Brina Lee Day or Kyle Day gave the rug to him and he stated that “Kyle and them” did give the rug to him. Ms. Thomas later positively identified the rug as the one stolen from her apartment.

    On October 26, 2017, an officer went to the 5th Avenue NE apartment that Brina Lee Day recently moved out of. While in the apartment, Ms. Thomas’ fiance noticed a Pizzazz pizza cooker that was identical to one that had been stolen from Ms. Thomas’ apartment.

    On November 12, 2017, at approximately 5:52 a.m., EGF officers were dispatched to 20th Street NW in EGF to investigate a burglary complaint. When they arrived, officers spoke to 71-year-old Grace Louise Wollin who stated that when she woke up that morning her purse and a two-handled carrying tote were missing from her house. She also said her wallet had been inside of the purse and that it contained $700 in cash, her credit cards, and other personal identification documents. Wollin later noticed that her checkbook was missing as well and the door to the house from the garage had been unlocked by accident. She told the officers that she went to bed at 7 p.m. the night before and woke up at 5:15 a.m. that morning, and that she was not aware of anyone who would have know that the door to the house was unlocked. One of the officers located a set of fresh footprints in the snow outside of the rear door that she was able to follow out to the street, said the complaint.

    Ms. Wollin later reported that she found a small garbage can full of tools in her front driveway and that the tools did not belong to her. The officer returned to Ms. Wollin’s residence and retrieved the tools.

    Later, on November 14, 2017, Ronald Dean Brooks positively identified these tools as ones that were stolen from his vehicle which was parked at 21st Street NW over the weekend. Mr. Brooks also reported that a small Tivo cable box had been stolen from his vehicle.

    On November 13, 2017, an EGF Lieutenant spoke to Ms. Wollin who stated that one of her stolen credit cards had been used at TJ Maxx in Grand Forks, ND, and that an attempt had been made to withdraw $200 from an ATM in Grand Forks.

    On November 14, 2017, the Lt. contacted the credit card company and learned that the stolen credit card had been used once at 9:47 p.m. on November 12, 2017, with a transaction in the amount of $32.01 and again at 10:11 p.m. on the same day in the amount of $644.35.

    On November 24, 2017, the Lt. was provided with two still photographs of the person who used the stolen credit card at TJ Maxx on November 12, 2017. An EGFPD detective and officer identified Brina Lee Day as the person depicted in the photographs. The Lt. also was informed that Brina provided her driver’s license to TJ Maxx on Nov. 12, and that a large amount of children’s toys and clothing were purchased from TJ Maxx at that time.

    On November 29, 2017, the Lt. spoke to a Polk County social worker who stated that Brina Lee Day had been court-ordered to provide urine samples for testing, that she had been testing “dirty” or not showing up, that she had not seen her children in a while, and, according to the father of one of Brina’s children, Brina recently gave his daughter a lot of items from TJ Maxx for her birthday.

    On February 6, 2018, the Lt. spoke to Brina on the telephone and she stated that she bought the credit card for $300, was told there was $600 on the card, and did not know the card was stolen. Brina agreed to meet with the Lt. on February 8, 2018, but did not show up for the meeting or call the Lt.

    On February 23, 2018, the Lt. spoke to a person who he knew that they stated that Brina Lee Day was involved in the burglary at the corner of 20th Street NW and 10th Avenue NW. The person also stated that Brina told her that she saw a purse on the table in the house as she was walking by so she went in and stole the purse which belonged to an elderly woman. She added that there was travel card in the purse with $1,500 on it and that Brina then allegedly went and got her car back from a pawn shop, that Brina purchased her children a bunch of presents and that Brina left the informant a message stating that she had $500 and wanted to get “messed up” or use drugs. This person also told the Lt. that Brina was involved in a burglary at the Century Apartments because Brina told her that she stole a lot of baby stuff from the apartment located across the hallway from where Brina was living at the time, said the complaint.

    An EGF detective learned that Brina pawned her car with First National Pawn on September 8, 2017, and, on November 12, 2017, Brina paid First National Pawn $480 to get her car back and $50 to purchase a Tivo DVR.

    On June 2, 2017, EGFPD issued a Trespass Warning to Brina warning her to leave Hugo’s in EGF and the notice stated “The undersigned is further warned not to return to these premises for any reason at any time. Because of these warnings, the undersigned is well aware that he or she has no license or privilege to enter or remain on the premises at any future time or date. The undersigned is aware that if he or she re-enters the premises it will be done so unlawfully and the undersigned is subject to prosecution for the crime of criminal trespass, a violation of Minnesota Criminal Code, Statute 609.605.” The trespass warning was signed by Barb Osowski, who was the store manager for Hugo’s and that Brina Lee Day was listed as the “person warned.” The trespass warning was in effect for one year from June 2, 2017.

    On March 20, 2018, EGFPD officers were dispatched to Hugo’s in EGF and spoke to Ms. Osowski who stated that Brina Lee Day was being detained in the Loss Prevention Office. Ms. Osowski stated that she was in Hugo’s when she saw Brina enter the store with an empty purse and that Brina put several items into a basket and then walked over to a different part of the store. She said she later saw Brina walk out of the store with a bulging purse and that another store employee went out into the parking lot and stopped Brina. Ms. Osowski added that the total cost of the items Brina stole was $104.47.

    Brina Lee Day has previous convictions of operating an unregistered vehicle and driving with no insurance, and theft. Day’s drivers license was also suspended in April 2016 due to her failure to appear in court for a no insurance charge, driving after suspension, and drug paraphernalia possession.