This opinion will be unpublished and
                  may not be cited except as provided by
               Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994)

                          State of Minnesota
                            in Court of Appeals

     State of Minnesota,


Ozzie George Jones,

Richard Earl Ulrich,

Filed October 15, 1996
Amundson, Judge

Todd County District Court

File Nos. K0-95-284, K9-95-283

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Ann McCaughan, Assistant State
Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue, Suit 600, Minneapolis, MN 56347
(for Appellants)

Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, Cheryl W. Heilman, Assistant
Attorney General, Thomas R. Ragatz, Assistant Attorney General, Suite 900,
NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, Charles Rasmussen,
Todd County Attorney, Todd County Courthouse, 215 First Avenue South, Long
Prairie, MN 56347 (for Respondent)

Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Amundson, Judge, and
Thoreen, Judge.(*)
        [Footnote] (*)Retired judge of the district court,
        serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals
        by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI,
        § 10.
                        Unpublished Opinion

AMUNDSON, Judge (Hon. Paul Flora, District Court Trial Judge)

Pursuant to a Lothenbach stipulation, appellants Ozzie George Jones
and Richard Earl Ulrich challenge the admission of evidence seized after an
investigatory stop. They argue that the trial court should have suppressed
evidence obtained during a search of a vehicle because the stop was not
based on probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Appellants also argue that their continued detention was improper. We

On March 1, 1995, appellants Richard Earl Ulrich and Ozzie George Jones
were charged with second-degree burglary and theft of property for an
offense taking place on April 30, 1995. These charges were based on
evidence a police officer seized after stopping their vehicle at
approximately 4:00 a.m. on April 30.

At the omnibus hearing, the trial court denied appellants' motion to
suppress evidence (stolen money, burglary tools, and statements to officers
made after the stop) on the ground that there was not probable cause or
reasonable suspicion for the investigatory stop. The trial court reserved
judgment on appellants' challenge of the length of their detention. After a
continued omnibus hearing, the court also denied that motion.

Pursuant to State v. Lothenbach,(1)
        [Footnote] (1)Under Lothenbach, a criminal
        defendant may seek to expedite appellate review of a
        pretrial evidentiary ruling by stipulating to the
        state's case and waiving a jury trial. State v.
        Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (Minn. 1980).

appellants stipulated to the following facts but maintained their
objections to the constitutionality of the stop and the length of
        The facts being stipulated to are that on April 30,
        1995, both Defendants, Ozzie George Jones and
        Richard Earl Ulrich, were in the City of Staples,
        Todd County. That they took $948.00 from the VFW
        Club. The money belonged to the VFW Club, and that
        is also in the City of Staples, County of Todd, and
        they had the intent to keep and use the property for
        themselves and they had no permission from the VFW
        to take the property.(2)
        [Footnote] (2)The state claims that this goes beyond
        the usual Lothenbach stipulation, and
        arguably renders the trial court's rulings harmless
        beyond a reasonable doubt. The state concedes that,
        in entering the stipulation, appellants and the
        state intended to follow the Lothenbach

The trial court found appellants guilty of theft and (on motion of the
state) dismissed the burglary charges. The trial court sentenced Jones (who
had a criminal history score of seven) to 29 months and Ulrich (who had a
criminal history score of six) to 26 months, fined both $1,000, and ordered
them to pay restitution. In this appeal, appellants challenge the validity
of the initial investigatory stop as well as the length of the detention.
I. Validity of Stop

Appellants argue that the evidence obtained during the search of their
vehicle should have been suppressed because the investigatory stop was

In order to stop a car to check the driver's license or the vehicle's
registration, the police officer must have an

        articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist
        is unlicensed or that an automobile is not
        registered, or that either the vehicle or an
        occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for
        violation of the law.

Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 663, 99 S. Ct. 1391, 1401 (1979).

The trial court concluded that the officer had a reasonable and articulable
        Officer Case observed a suspicious vehicle driving
        away from the west parking lot of the Burlington
        Northern Depot. * * * [T]he vehicle was observed at
        4:00 a.m. in an area that had experienced thefts and
        recent vandalism. The experienced veteran officer
         saw the car stopped in an empty parking lot, then
        leave. The car stopped again and the officer
        observed activity outside the car, then saw the
        driver and passenger get into the vehicle and move
        away again. This was at a time when almost no other
        people or traffic were in the area. Officer Case
        specifically articulated why he did not believe the
        driver and passenger to be railroad workers. Had
        Officer Case believed the persons he observed to be
        railroad workers, that would have sufficiently
        explained their presence and made their actions
        unsuspicious. Once he concluded that the persons
        were not railroad workers, he had no explanations
        for their suspicious behavior. Added to all of this,
        Officer Case knew that the vehicle was registered to
        someone from outside of the Staples area.

Appellants argue that the officer did not have a reasonable and articulable
suspicion because: (1) they were not in an area known for a specific
criminal activity; (2) the officer conceded that there was nothing unusual
about a vehicle registered to a person in Duluth being in Staples; and (3)
the officer stopped the vehicle because he had a suspicion that its
occupants were not railroad workers, and ``[a]n officer's hunch regarding
appellants' occupation is not an adequate legal basis for a stop.''

Appellants cite two cases in which the reviewing court held that the
investigatory stop was invalid. See State v. Johnson, 257 N.W.2d 308
(Minn. 1977); City of St. Paul v. Uber, 450 N.W.2d 623 (Minn. App.
1990), review denied (Minn. Mar. 22, 1990).

Unlike in Johnson, the officer in this case was able to articulate
why he became suspicious of the vehicle: (1) the car was in an area where
there had been recent burglaries and vandalism; (2) the car was in the
railroad parking lot, but appellants did not appear to be railroad workers;
(3) the owner of the vehicle was from Duluth; and (4) appellants got out of
the car and went to the trunk, which the officer considered ``suspicious.''
 See Johnson, 257 N.W.2d at 308 (officer unable to articulate why he
became suspicious of vehicle). Thus, Johnson is clearly
distinguishable from this case.
Uber was a ``profile stop'' case. This case, however, is not a
``profile stop'' case, i.e., a stop based on a bundle of observations of
traits or behaviors that are supposedly characteristic of people committing
certain crimes. In fact, it is the opposite of a profile stop case one of
the bases for the stop was that appellants' behavior was not consistent
with the characteristics of law-abiding citizens, i.e., the railroad
workers, and thus the officer's suspicions were aroused. In addition,
unlike in Uber, appellants were not in a high-traffic area, and in this
case there was the ``suspicious'' behavior. Thus, Uber is also

We conclude that the officer had an articulable and reasonable suspicion to
stop appellant's vehicle.
                II. Propriety of Continued Detention

Appellants were detained for 57 minutes. Appellants argue that their
detention after the initial stop was unreasonably long.

There is no bright-line rule regarding the reasonableness of the length of
detention. State v. Moffatt, 450 N.W.2d 116, 119 (Minn. 1990). The
reasonableness depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular
case.  Id. The fact that the police might have investigated the case
in a different way that would have taken less time does not mean that the
police acted unreasonably. Id.
Appellants argue that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated
because they were detained beyond the time of the initial investigative
questions. They claim that once they answered the officer's questions
regarding what they were doing in Staples at that hour, and why the car was
registered to someone in Duluth, they should have been free to go.(3)
        [Footnote] (3)Appellants also argue that the officer
        went beyond the scope of a pat-down search for
        weapons and opened the film canister he pulled out
        of Ulrich's jacket pocket (which contained
        marijuana). The state argues that because Ulrich was
        not charged with possession of marijuana, this
        argument is not relevant to this appeal. We agree.
        In addition, appellants consented to the search of
        the inside of the car, which made that search valid.

The state notes that, while talking to the officer, Ulrich consented to a
search of the vehicle. The state argues that it would not have made sense
to free appellants while the officer conducted the search. The state also
argues that, because the search produced the money bag, the officer's
suspicions increased, especially when appellants gave inconsistent
explanations for the money.

In Moffatt, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that a 61-minute
detention was reasonable under the circumstances. Appellants correctly note
that in this case, unlike in Moffatt, there was no report of a
recently committed crime. Appellants also argue that Ulrich immediately
provided a reasonable explanation for being in the area of the depot.
Unlike in Moffatt, the police in this case discovered things in the
area of the stop that aroused their suspicions the money bag and the
inconsistent explanations for it. This led them to suspect a burglary and
check to see if indeed a burglary had just occurred.(5)
        [Footnote] (5)The vehicle was stopped at about 4:03
        a.m. by Officer Case. Officer Burns arrived at
        approximately 4:08. Officer Case requested that
        officers search the area where the vehicle was first
        spotted at about 4:29 a.m. At about 5:00 a.m.,
        Ulrich consented in writing to a search of the
        vehicle, and the police found burglary tools in the
        trunk. At about the same time (it is disputed
        whether it was before or after the written consent),
        the police chief reported that the VFW had been
        broken into.

This activity is proper for a Terry stop. See State v. Pleas,
329 N.W.2d 329, 333 (Minn. 1983) (in the course of a Terry stop,
a suspect may be detained while it is determined if an offense has occurred
in the area). Because the police discovered evidence shortly after the stop
that made them very suspicious that appellants had just burgled (the money
bag and the inconsistent explanations), it was permissible for the police
to spend a certain amount of time to determine if an offense had occurred
in the area.