Crime Notes

Various Local Crime Related Stories

Southwest Level III sex offender rearrested

One of the five Level III sex offenders in Southwest is back in prison after violating terms of his release.

Lionel Tohannie Yazzie, 27, was living in the 3100 block of Pleasant Avenue South before being picked up on New Year's Eve for a drug-related offense.

According to a law enforcement source, Yazzie is back in prison "due to his recent arrest for cocaine possession. As a result, he was revoked and remanded back to prison to serve out his remaining unserved time."

Felons in Minnesota serve two-thirds of their sentences before being paroled. Yazzie began serving a nine-and-a-half-year sentence for third-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1994. He's scheduled for release on May 2.

However, the law enforcement source said, Yazzie might face civil commitment. "He's one they're looking at seriously," the source said.

State corrections officials now refer all Level III sex offender cases to county attorneys for civil commitment -- confining a prisoner to a secure psychiatric facility for an indefinite period of time.

Level III offenders in Southwest were profiled in the Journal's Jan. 8 issue.

-- Michael Metzger

Blue-light special for Southwest thieves

Minneapolis Police SAFE teams issued an alert mid-January, warning residents that there have been numerous thefts in Southwest of Xenon headlights, also called "blue lights."

The lights are expensive, usually found on luxury cars such as BMWs and Audis. SAFE teams instruct anyone with Xenon lights or other advanced vehicle lighting systems to appropriate precautions so that they're not victimized and to pass on the warning to friends.

Crime-Prevention Specialist Jennifer Neale said it's best to park vehicles in a garage for protection, but if motorists must park on the street, a well-lit area would be safest. She said she was told by Motorwerks BMW, that there is no safety device to protect the lights, like they have for some wheels, so checking on vehicles regularly is also a good idea.

For more safety information visit SAFE's Web site at

-- Robyn Repya