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Mall dispute takes weird turn

FBI received report of ‘kidnapping’ of shopkeeper

November 21, 2012
The Journal

NEW ULM - Issues regarding the Marktplatz Mall turned a new page on Tuesday, Nov. 6 when New Ulm Police got a phone call from a shopkeeper in the Mall.

According to a police report, Theodore Jafvert told police that earlier that morning, Randy Danielson, who owns part of the mall, came to Jafvert's store in the mall and demanded rent money.

Jafvert told police Danielson then turned off utilities to his store, locked the front door of Jafvert's business with a padlock and left the business with Jafvert still inside.

Jafvert told police he was able to get out of the store after a short amount of time and that Danielson didn't threaten him.

Police told Jafvert they couldn't handle any civil issue between the two men, according to the police report.

A short time later, police were called by an FBI agent who said he was contacted by a person from Ohio who stated Jafvert had been kidnapped.

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Police told the FBI agent that the situation was an ongoing civil dispute over mall ownership. The FBI agent said he understood and didn't need to be involved, according to the police report.

Danielson told The Journal Tuesday that Jafvert was never locked inside his store because it has rear emergency exits, as required by law.

"I locked his (store) door because he (Jafvert) didn't pay rent or utilities," Danielson said. "We're working on working things out."

A look inside the mall Tuesday afternoon showed lights on in Jafvert's store, Outlet Sales. The business contained racks of clothing plus a few dolls and assorted gifts. A note on the store security gate read "went to wholesale warehouse. Back around 6."



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