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Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 11, 2005

Authorities recover $250,000 worth of stolen property

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

An abundance of stolen property was recovered recently when authorities from multiple counties executed search warrants at residences near Howard Lake and Silver Lake March 31.

Michael Anthony Knudson, 22, of Silver Lake and David Allen Eich, 26, of Howard Lake were arrested for felony possession of stolen property, reported the Wright County Sheriff’s Department. The property recovered was from Knudson’s residence east of Silver Lake, and from Eich’s on Shoreline Drive.

Law enforcement agents recovered more than $250,000 worth of stolen property, reported the Wright County Sheriff’s Department.

Both men are believed to have been involved in at least seven business burglaries in McLeod, Wright, Meeker, Pope, and Stearns counties, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Department. The thefts occurred over the last six months.

Given the significant amount of property recovered, investigators anticipate additional agencies becoming involved in the continuing investigation of these men.

Recovered during both of these searches were numerous pieces of furniture and other items taken during the Countryside Furniture and Gifts burglary last fall near Cokato, reported the Wright County Sheriff’s Department. Some of the items stolen included leather chairs and recliners, solid wood furniture, pictures, lamps, rugs, and matching dishes.

For Meeker County, investigators recovered property believed to have been stolen from Haug Implement in Litchfield and Schlangen’s Custom Cabinets in Eden Valley totaling more than $125,000.

Among other items recovered includes countless tools and tool sets, a 26-foot camper, a 2004 Arctic Cat four-wheeler, a new John Deere zero-turn lawn mower, a new Yamaha generator, as well as Yamaha and Arctic Cat clothing, reported the McLeod County Sheriff’s Department.

The investigation revealed the suspects targeted construction sites, implement dealers, and similar businesses, according to the McLeod County Sheriff’s Department.

Knudson has been charged in McLeod County for receiving stolen property, stemming from a theft at Right Way Mechanical on Highway 7, north of Lester Prairie. Stolen from Right Way was some tin and soffit material, valued at about $10,000, according to a criminal complaint. Knudson’s charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and/or a $20,000 fine if convicted.

Eich was charged in Wright County with possession of stolen property, which also carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and/or a $20,000 fine if convicted.

Knudson has a court date set for today, while Eich has his next court date set for Friday, April 15.

Stolen property involving several other law enforcement agencies was also recovered during the searches, and additional charges are expected.

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