Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Dec. 16, 2002

Unwanted guest ruins lunch for Winsted couple

By Ryan Gueningsman

Doug and Mary Pawelk came home for lunch at 12:05 p.m. last Monday to see an intruder exiting their home through the front door.

The home owner, Doug Pawelk, chased the man, 24-year-old Jerimiah Westley Ross of Glencoe, for about half a block north of his residence on Fifth Street N., but was unable to catch him.

At the time of the unlawful entry, the Pawelks also noticed a dark grey Chevrolet Corsica parked in front of their home.

"Our daughter (Cassandra) later spotted the car at St. Mary's, so she called my wife, and my wife called Mike (Henrich, Winsted Police Chief)," Pawelk said. "They went over and arrested him, and we identified him."

The Pawelks were able to identify Ross' coat as being the same as worn by the burglary suspect. The vehicle was also registered to Ross, according to the criminal complaint.

Ross had a warrant out for his arrest from Blue Earth County for a DWI, as well as burglary charges pending against him for a case in Carver County, in which he entered a home and stole only a woman's dress.

Although nothing was taken from the Pawelks home, similar things were disturbed as in the Carver County burglary.

Ross works at St. Mary's Care Center with the Pawelk's daughter. Police suspect that Ross stole her house key while she was working, according to the complaint. Ross was not working at the time of the robbery.

Ross is currently in McLeod County Jail facing a charge of first degree burglary, which carries a maximum fine of 20 years imprisonment and/or a $35,000 fine.

"We want to give credit to Mike for the great job he did," Mary Pawelk said. "He really worked hard on this."

"This was another day-time burglary," Henrich said. "These are becoming more and more common, and it is so important for people to keep their doors locked.

"It's also important for neighbors to keep an eye on each other's homes, and know who should be at the residence, and to call us if they see someone who should not be there."


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