Two Eden Prairie men have been charged with second-degree burglary after they allegedly broke into a church in 2011.

Ahmeddahir Mohamed Areis, 23, and Abdihakim Mohamed Areis, 24, have been charged with the offense. According to criminal complaints, Eden Prairie police were dispatched to Christ Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie on Oct. 12, 2011. Officers met with the church pastor who stated he saw a broken liquor bottle surrounded by blood on the sidewalk directly outside the main entry door.

He entered the church and noticed papers and cookie pieces scattered about on the floor. He then discovered that two bottles of Mogan David Concord wine had been stolen from a refrigerator. The pastor said he left the church at approximately 8 p.m. the night before and did not check to make sure all the doors were closed and locked. He found two doors ajar the next day. He had not given anyone permission to enter the church and take wine.

The officers observed a broken glass bottle of brandy on the sidewalk with blood and blood spatter surrounding it. There were bloody footprints. Inside the church they found pieces of cookie that had been taken from the church kitchen. One of the cookie pieces had a tread mark that appeared to be similar to the shoe treads found outside the church. They also found a half empty bottle of wine behind the organ and a plastic water bottle on the altar. Swabs were taken from the water bottle, wine bottle and blood found outside.

Upon further investigation, officers learned of other incidents that seemed to relate to the case. At 12:20 a.m. Oct. 12, 2011, a motorist called to report a man standing on the side of the road within a block of Christ Lutheran Church. Officers responded to the check on the man’s welfare and were unable to locate him.

Officers were dispatched at 2:30 a.m. the same day to a Super America store within a few blocks of the church. When they arrived, they found Abdihakim Areis intoxicated and bleeding from his left hand. The officers had been called because he had allegedly tried to steal merchandise. He was transported to a hospital for medical attention.

At 5:38 a.m. the same day officers were dispatched to an apartment complex stairwell in the 14000 block of Valley View Road. Officers found Ahmeddahir Areis lying on his left side with a half bottle of Mogan David Concord wine tucked under his left arm. He was arrested for disorderly conduct after officers attempted to take him to his sister’s house and he became unruly. Based on this information and officers’ investigations of other cases involving the two defendants, a search warrant was obtained for swabs for DNA analysis from both individuals. Samples were taken from the two men. Those samples and the samples taken from the crime scene at the church were submitted to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Crime Lab.

Analysis from the lab showed the blood-like substance from the broken glass outside the church entrance was consistent with the male DNA profile matching Abdihakim Areis. The swabs taken from the water bottle and wine bottle found in the church sanctuary matched the DNA profile from Ahmeddahir Areis.

Second-degree burglary is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

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