Herald and Journal, April 2, 2001

Marlboro burglar is caught outside of Pete's Grocery

By Lynda Jensen

A burglar helped himself to nearly all of the cigarettes at Pete's Grocery before Wright County deputy Matt Heaton apprehended him outside the business, March 24.

Charles Emmett Hurd, 49, of Walker, Minn., was charged with second degree burglary, in connection with the incident.

Heaton responded to an alarm that went off at 5 a.m., after a burglar smashed the glass of the right front door at the business, in order to gain entry.

"This guy had a big hammer," commented Pete Chmielewski, owner, about the damage to his door, which amounted to $300. His insurance does not cover this kind of loss, he said.

Nearly 150 cartons of Marlboro brand and other cigarettes were stuffed inside three or four garbage bags and were being placed inside the suspect's car, parked outside the establishment, Chmielewski said.

He left behind the generic cigarettes," Chmielewski said. It is possible that Hurd was going back to get them when he was interrupted by the deputy.

Heaton approached Hurd, thinking that he was the owner of the store at first. "He said 'What are you doing, Pete?' and the guy took off," Wright County Lietenant Joe Hagerty said.

The suspect headed west, behind the store, running between buildings.

Heaton caught up with Hurd on the small gravel parking lot behind the establishment and a scuffle ensued, Hagerty said.

The fight lasted about six minutes, with Heaton handcuffing one of Hurd's hands, but not the other. In this scenario "you'd better not let go," of the handcuffed hand, Hagerty said, because the suspect may use it as a bludgeon, he said.

Heaton was asking for backup on his radio as best he could and also managed to Mace Hurd, which did not have the desired effect, Hagerty said.

Another deputy, Steve Bakeberg, formerly of Howard Lake, arrived on the scene with his K-9 German shepherd, Shadow.

Shadow is one of two K-9 dogs at the Wright County Sheriff's Office, with the other one used to detect drugs, Hagerty said.

Hurd was taken into custody with the help of Bakeberg and Shadow, according to Hagerty.

Hurd required medical attention to his arm, Hagerty said.

Hurd is also being charged with possession of burglary tools, fourth degree assault of a police officer, and obstruction of legal process (resisting arrest), Hagerty said.

Possession of burglary tools means that suspects are carrying something like a crowbar or large screwdrivers around without a good reason, Hagerty said. "Most people walking down the street don't have big screwdrivers in their pockets," he said.

The charge allows law enforcement officials to catch burglars more easily, he said.

Five years ago, Pete's Grocery was burgled in the same way, with the suspect smashing the front door in that case as well, Chmielewski added.

Hurd is being held in the Wright County jail.

Suspect arrested in Lester Prairie burglary

By Patrice Waldron

LESTER PRAIRIE - A suspect in the break-in and burglary at Big Don's Carthedral gas station in Lester Prairie was arrested Tuesday by the Shakopee Police Department.

A felony arrest warrant for Mathew James Lipe, age 18, no permanent address, was obtained by the Lester Prairie Police Department Tuesday.

The suspect is being held without bail at the Scott County Jail, awaiting transport to the McLeod County Jail.

Big Don's in Lester Prairie, owned by Don Artmann, was broken into Feb. 4. A computer, computer software, cigarettes, tools, candy, and other items were taken.

The total, approximate, value of the stolen property was in excess of $15,000.

Much of the property was recovered behind the station, stashed in bags, in the snow. It is thought that the burglar planned to return later for the property.

Chief of Police of Lester Prairie, Fred Blaser saw the defendant traveling to the stash of stolen property, and when the defendant saw the squad car, he went the other way.

No other tracks were found in the area, and there was no reason for the defendant to be in the area, police said.

A statement was made to the police by a juvenile to the effect that the defendant had told him that he had property from Big Don's and that he had gone to the area where the grocery bags had been stashed, and had found the items missing.

A statement was taken from another juvenile male, who indicated that the defendant has a key to the pop machine, which had been taken from Big Don's. The juvenile took the key from the defendant and gave it to Officer Carlson of the Lester Prairie Police Department.

Artmann positively identified the key as being from his business.

It is based on this information that Lipe was charged with one count of burglary in the third degree. Maximum penalty for this charge is five years imprisonment and/or $10,000 fine.

For possessing stolen property with a value in excess of $10,000, Lipe was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property. Maximum penalty for this crime is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine.

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