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Manhunt leads to arrest

Davis Powell.

A large-scale search for an armed robbery suspect put residents in one Farmington-area neighborhood on edge last week but ultimately was successful.

Farmington police joined officers from several other departments late Feb. 3 in the search for a man suspected in an armed robbery earlier in the day in Apple Valley.

Squad cars, K-9 units and a helicopter spent about 40 minutes patrolling the area around the intersection of Pilot Knob Road and 170th Street looking for 26-year-old Davis Powell, who Apple Valley police sergeant Mike Dyer said Feb. 3, used a gun to rob a Carmike Theater in around 2:50 p.m. in Apple Valley.

According to a complaint filed Friday in the Dakota County Attorney's office Powell used a black air gun to threaten employees at the theater, where he used to work. Powell wore a bandanna over his face and sunglasses, but the manger there recognized him and provided police with his file, including an address on Embers Ave. in Lakeville.

Powell was not home when police first arrived, but an officer was posted nearby while police got a warrant to search Powell's rented townhome and was there when Powell arrived home shortly before 8 p.m. He tried to arrest Powell, but Powell resisted. According to the complaint he tried to grab the officers gun then, using his landlord as cover, fled.

Apple Valley police got assistance from agencies including Farmington, Rosemount, Lakeville and Burnsville to seal off the area and conduct a search. K-9 units from Apple Valley and the Dakota County Sheriff's department and an infra red-equipped helicopter from the Minnesota State Patrol also helped with the search.

For about 40 minutes Wednesday night squad cars zipped around the area and police spoke with residents to find out if any of them had seen Powell.

"It was quite a spectacle, but we needed the assistance," Dyer said. "There were a lot of homes in that area. There's a lot of potential places that person could be hiding."

Using tips from residents in the area police tracked Powell to an area north of 170th Street, where there are several new homes under construction. Police found signs Powell had broken into one of those homes to hide, Dyer said. The State Patrol helicopter ultimately found Powell hiding in a culvert about 100 yards from the home.

Police used a K-9 unit to arrest Powell shortly after 8:30 p.m.

Powell was charged late last week with one count of aggravated robbery, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and fines of up to $35,000. He's also been charged with two felony counts of making terroristic threats and one felony county of obstructing the legal process, all of which have a maximum sentence of five years, and one felony count of attempting to disarm a police officer, which has a maximum sentence of 30 months.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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