Police lights

Shoe tracks in the snow helped lead police to a Burnsville man who stole his neighbor’s car and drove to Mystic Lake Casino while under the influence of Xanax last month, investigators said.

The investigation also connected the man to several other thefts.

Austin Quang-Anoulaa Bounleutay, 20, is charged with first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of ammunition by an ineligible person and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in Dakota County District Court.

Each charge is a felony; the burglary charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to a residence in Burnsville on March 11 after a resident reported her vehicle was stolen from her home’s attached garage. She had noticed the vehicle missing shortly before 8 a.m.

Officers saw shoe prints made by Timberland boots leading into the garage and tire tracks in the snow on the driveway. Officers followed the prints to a nearby residence where multiple tracks of the same shoe were found coming and going from a sliding door. Officers knew Bounleutay lived at the residence.

The same shoe impressions were found at another nearby residence where items were reported missing from a vehicle parked outside.

Officers were on their way to Bounleutay’s home with a search warrant when a Bounleutay passed by in a vehicle. Officers stopped the car and asked him what shoes he was wearing.

In Bounleutay’s home, officers found a laptop beginning to a Bloomington school with a student’s name on a label. They also found over 300 Xanax pills, a key fob for the stolen car, a 9mm bullet, a magazine for a 9mm Glock handgun containing 14 rounds of live ammunition, two wallets containing cards from two other previously reported thefts and drug paraphernalia.

At the Burnsville police department, Bounleutay told offers he’d taken Xanax the previous night and blacked out but said his mother picked him up at Mystic Lake Casino. Officers later recovered the stolen vehicle at the casino.

Bounleutay claimed the car he stole was parked out front of the residence and not in the garage.

He said he could “remember bits and pieces,” the charges state, and he admitted to breaking into four vehicles the previous night.