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Twin Cities Man Arrested Because He Saw "After Earth" In Theater

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Two men are facing burglary charges in relation to thefts from a rural Rice County home and cabins along Horseshoe Lake.

The key to the arrests... a movie ticket stub... left behind at the scene of the crime.
Paul Goetze should have known not to go to the Will Smith film After Earth that Saturday afternoon on June 15th.

For starters, he and his two sons made up a majority of the five people in attendance.

It also has one of the worst Rotten Tomatoes scores ever, receiving blurbs like "dull stuff" (Observer)... "stodgy and rather meaningless" (Urban Cinefile)... "If you're a Will Smith fan, you're not going to get anything out of this. Other than maybe a good nap." (
Goetze probably realized his mistake shortly after the previews ended... but he had no idea it would land him in jail.

All kidding aside, there was actually an interesting bit of sleuthing by all involved in the case.

According to Investigator Blaine Smith with the Rice County Sheriff's Department, it was the homeowner that spotted the ticket, realizing it didn't belong in his house.

The deputy on the scene, Derek Estrem, immediately obtained surveillance video from the theater, with the time and date listed on the ticket stub, and Smith pieced everything together from there.

A check of pawn activity in the state yielded several tools the same model that were stolen being pawned in Richfield, with Goetze's name attached... the photo on Goetze's driver's license matched the description from the theater surveillance cameras, and authorities were able to charge him and another man, 43-year-old Darren Lawrence Voracek of Medford, with burglary.

It's cliché to say the investigation couldn't have been scripted any better... but it probably still would have been a better movie than After Earth.