Sept. 02–CLINTON — A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to a felony burglary charge.
Chad M. Larson, 40, of St. Paul, Minnesota, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. The plea agreement states the State will not proceed on the habitual offender sentencing enhancement. The plea is an open plea and no promises are made in regard to sentencing. The State will dismiss charges of second-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief at sentencing. Larson will remain liable for restitution on both counts.
The court accepted the plea subject to approval of the plea agreement. Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 6.
Co-defendant Sammantha J. Doerneman, 32, of St. Paul, was sentenced in July to serve three concurrent indeterminate terms not to exceed two years for third-degree attempted burglary, third-degree theft and third-degree criminal mischief. A fine of $625 on each count was suspended.
According to the affidavit, at 10:46 a.m. Jan. 7, a Desperado’s Bar manager reported a burglary occurred at the bar, located at 112 S. Main St., Wheatland. The suspects tore out fiber optic cable owned by F and B Communications from a junction box behind Desperado’s in an alley to disable the alarm system.
Two different footwear impressions were located in the snow near the junction box. The suspects then forced open a walk-in door on the north side of the bar. The walk-in door faced an alley and was not the primary entrance for the bar. The suspects then tore out more fiber optic cable and phone lines owned by F and B in a back room of the bar. The suspects then removed a safe from a cabinet behind the bar. The bar owner reported $2,215 was inside the safe.
The affidavit states a ZTE cellular telephone was found lying on the ground outside the bar about 2 feet from the walk-in door that had been forced open by the suspects. The bar owner and other bar employees reported the phone did not belong to any of them. The cellular telephone was collected for evidence and turned over to the officer for a later examination.
A male on the morning of Jan. 7 located a stolen safe from Desperado’s lying on the side of a road a couple miles south of Wheatland. The safe had been pried open and the money was removed. Video surveillance inside the bar showed two suspects entering the bar at 4:08 a.m. One of the suspects was carrying a large pry bar type tool. The suspects removed the safe from behind the bar and exited the bar in less than one minute.
The affidavit continues a representative from F and B Communications in Wheatland advised the officer that F and B had a motion-activated camera that captures still photographs on their building located in the 100 block of East Jefferson Street in Wheatland. The camera was located about a half block from Desperado’s Bar to the south and west. The camera at 4:09 a.m., one minute after the suspects exited the bar, captured a white semi tractor truck with a sleeper cab pulling a grain-type trailer facing west on East Jefferson Street.
The affidavit states the officer obtained a search warrant to examine the ZTE cellular telephone left at the scene. The officer discovered several items on the cell phone indicating it was used by a Sammantha Doerneman. The officer discovered a Gmail account on the cell phone. The Gmail account included a profile picture of a white female and white male. The officer also discovered a photograph of a letter from the Ramsey County Community Corrections Office to Doerneman. The officer located numerous text messages with a person she called Chad Larson that indicated Doerneman was in a relationship with Larson. The officer also located numerous photographs of the same white male and female from the Gmail profile picture. The officer obtained Minnesota driver’s license photographs of Doerneman and Larson, both of which matched the photographs on the cell phone.
The affidavit states the officer discovered text messages photographs on the cell phone of a white semi tractor truck that indicated Larson was possibly a truck driver. These photographs were dated Dec. 2. The photograph of the white semi tractor truck appeared similar in make and model to the semi tractor truck captured by F and B’s camera on Jan. 7. The officer learned from an Iowa Department of Transportation captain that Larson was inspected by DOT authorities in Iowa in 2016 and Wisconsin in 2015. The captain advised the officer that Larson worked for a trucking company in Dakota County, Minnesota. The officer spoke with a detective from the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. The detective advised the officer that Larson worked for Dubbel’s Trucking located in Rosemount, Minnesota.
The affidavit continues the officer learned that Larson was arrested on Jan.17 for a burglary that occurred in the town of Veil in Crawford County. The officer spoke with a representative of Dubbel’s Trucking. The representative reported Larson dropped off cargo in Ottawa, Illinois, in the afternoon on Jan. 6.
Ottawa is located on Interstate 80 in Illinois. Larson picked up cargo in Des Moines about 5 p.m. Jan. 7. The representative reported Larson purchased fuel in Peru, Illinois, at 6 p.m. Jan. 6, approximately eight hours prior to the burglary in Wheatland.
Peru is approximately a two-hour drive from Wheatland. The representative also reported Doerneman accompanied him on the trip. The officer shared the photograph from F and B’s camera in Wheatland with the representative, who identified the truck and trailer in the photograph as Dubbel’s Trucking truck and trailer. There was a company logo near the front of the trailer in the F and B photograph from Jan. 7 that appeared to match the company logo of Dubbel’s Trucking.
The affidavit states a Crawford County deputy informed the officer Larson was interviewed following his arrest regarding the burglary in Veil. Larson admitted to committing the burglary with Doerneman. Larson stated they drove by Veil in his semi when he was working. They entered Veil and Larson stated he ripped out phone lines behind a bar and forced open a door with a pry tool. Larson told authorities they looked for a safe once inside the bar but could not fine one so they stole an ATM instead. Larson and Doerneman then drove the ATM to an area outside of Veil in a stolen car and forced it open to gain access to the money. Larson stated he may have driven by or stayed in Wheatland on or about Jan. 7.
The affidavit states the officer obtained Larson’s cell phone number from authorities in Crawford County. The number was ported to Verizon Wireless. The officer obtained by a search warrant cell phone records for the number, including cell towers used by Larson on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 and telephone calls made and received. Cell phone records indicated that between 3:33 a.m. and 4:23 a.m. Jan. 7, Larson’s cell phone was utilizing a cell tower located 9.71 miles south and west of Wheatland. F and B reported the monetary value of the damage done to its fiber optic cable and phone lines was $2,000. Desperado’s Bar reported the monetary value of the damage done to the walk-in door and safe was $750.
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