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Weisberg is a well known criminal attorney and the owner of several businesses, including a collection agency and the Adult Only Superstore, a porn shop in Minneapolis's warehouse district. He bought the 91 year old Shinders chain in 2003 from the Shinder family.
When Clickkeyword[Rob+Ayotte]" >Rob Ayotte was in the second grade, he walked into the Clickkeyword[Minnetonka+Shinders]" >Minnetonka Shinders and bought two comic books: GI Joe issues 26 and 27. "'Cause they had the origin of Snake Eyes," he explains.
he was growing up, his parents would take him downtown and let him visit the flagship newsstand on Hennepin. It was a hive of people with tattoos and Mohawks, with lives more exciting than his own, he recalls. "God, I could be in there for hours."
officers from the Anoka Hennepin Drug Task Force pulled Weisberg over near the intersection of highways 169 and 55 in Clickkeyword[Plymouth]" >Plymouth. Inside his white Dodge van, the cops found a digital scale, needles, three tablets of ecstasy, and 6.1 grams of meth. Behind the front seat was a .40 Louis Vuitton Belt White
A lock had been broken and the rear door damaged, but the alarm had not gone off. A call to the alarm company revealed that five months before, Weisberg had asked for a "ghost code" that would disarm the system but not show up on its logs. on the day of the robbery.
"We were all geeks from the suburbs and we got to work for a cool store in the heart of the city," he says. "I would do anything for those guys."
In March, Weisberg asked the court to suppress the drug evidence found in his van, arguing that police had no probable cause for the search. A month later, he failed to show up for a hearing in his drug case. A warrant was issued for his arrest; a spokeswoman for the Clickkeyword[Hennepin+County+Attorney's+Office]" >Hennepin County Attorney's Versace Belt Gold Buckle Office says efforts are being made to bring him into custody.
But soon the geek nirvana may be no more. Thanks to the fallout from owner Clickkeyword[Robert+Weisberg]" >Robert Weisberg's legal entanglements and a recently concluded civil case brought by creditors, the books and magazines chain has been put in the hands of a court appointed receiver. In recent weeks, four of its 13 metro area stores have closed.
caliber submachine gun.
Today, Shinders doesn't have enough merchandise to keep anyone browsing for long. On a recent weeknight, a rack near the register at the downtown store held two copies of Clickkeyword[James+Frey]" >James Frey's fake autobiography A Million Little Pieces, marked down by half. On the magazine stands, single copies of Clickkeyword[Men's+Vogue+Magazine]" >Men's Vogue were fanned out to make the sparse rack look full. The crafts section held four quilting titles, but precious little else.
Seventeen years later, when Ayotte started working toward a degree in comic art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, he went to work at the downtown Shinders. He didn't care that he made just $8 an hour.
Because the inventory was already the subject of Wells Fargo's civil case, Minneapolis police didn't pursue the matter. The receiver sold some of the remaining inventory, valued at $1 million, and repaid Wells Fargo $474,581. The state collected $48,331 in taxes, and the court approved Lighthouse Management's $58,636 fee. About $55,000 was left for Shinders.
Weisberg was charged with possessing meth and ecstasy. Becker asked Weisberg to return two company vans and turn over his keys to the offices, but Weisberg asked if he could "come by the office after hours to clean up his office before letting anyone inside because, he said, it was embarrassingly messy."
Weisberg's attorney declined to comment for this story, as did a Shinders spokeswoman, who refused to talk unless City Pages would guarantee "sympathetic" coverage. But Weisberg's collapse and his employees' struggles to keep the business going are detailed in several Clickkeyword[Hennepin+County+District+Court]" >Hennepin County District Court files.
A few days later, Becker discovered that the warehouse had been broken into. Missing was a snowblower, a computer, several dozen DVDs, and many cartons of cigarettes, according to a report Becker filed with the court. Employees also said a large amount of sports memorabilia had been stolen, including signed Clickkeyword[Michael+Jordan]" >Michael Jordan and Clickkeyword[Wayne+Gretzky]" >Wayne Gretzky jerseys.
In his family and his suburb, Ayotte was a square peg. His dad was a colonel in the Army and his brother wanted to be an airborne Ranger. A bit of a nerd, Ayotte felt at home among the misfits at Shinders.
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Ayotte, who left Shinders to take a catering job, hopes that the chain somehow manages to survive. When Gucci Belt Floral
"It was always a place where I would go where people understood you, who knew about things that are important to you," he says. "I've been going there every week since."
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