September 24, 2007

Break-in, vandalism occurs at Franklin Township Hall

More than $5,000 worth of tools, equipment stolen

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

When what is believed to be two thieves attempted to break in to the Franklin Township Hall and storage building south of Delano on Wright County Road 16, they took the adage of “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” to heart.

After attempting, and failing, to kick in a door located on the back side of the building, two suspects kicked in the main door to the township hall, and pried open a second door to gain access.

A considerable amount of tools and equipment, valued in excess of $5,000, including chainsaws, weedcutters, battery chargers, grease guns, and heavy duty socket sets, as well as a new Canon photocopier, were stolen from the township, according to Franklin Township Clerk Geri Hagelin. While at the township hall, the suspects also sprayed a fire extinguisher, resulting in a large mess.

The Wright County Sheriff’s Department received a report of the break-in from Hagelin and Township Supervisor Bill McMullen Sept. 16 around 8 p.m., and it is thought the crime most likely took place sometime between the morning hours of Sept. 15 and when it was noticed and reported Sept. 16.

Wright County’s Major Crimes Investigation Unit responded to the scene and processed it for fingerprints and physical evidence, according to Lieutenant Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

“Physical evidence is where we go if we don’t have any solid suspects,” Anselment said. “We’re processing a lot of stuff the suspects might have touched, and have turned it over the BCA to be compared to the known database.”

If a match is found, investigators have a name to start with. Judging by the fingerprints and other evidence gathered by the sheriff’s office, the thieves appear to be two young adult males, Hagelin said.

“They broke five doors and committed petty vandalism in addition to the theft,” she said.

Anselment noted most of the items taken from the township are items that are easy to pawn. He said a lot of times, cases such as this are solved by word-of-mouth, with someone noticing something suspicious, or someone attempting to unload a large amount of property at a cheap price.

Anselment said there are not any identified suspects at this time, and asked that anyone with information about this, contact the sheriff’s office at (763) 682-7622.

Hagelin said nothing appeared to have been taken or disturbed as far as township records and documents are concerned. She couldn’t recall the township hall ever being broken into before. Anselment said there haven’t been any similar burglaries recently in the county.

“Hopefully, someone will help us out and these thieves will get caught,” Hagelin said. “It’s a horrible feeling.”

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