One guilty, another still in court in Blooming Prairie corn heist

Published 10:22am Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Austin man and a Dodge Center woman have been in court for allegedly trying to steal 14,000 bushels of corn worth $84,000.

Arnold Edward Schwamm, 74, and Jeana Faye Anderson, 51, had a plan to nab the 14,000 bushels from Vavra Farms in Blooming Prairie where they worked, according to the Steele County Court complaint. The owner of the corn, however, suspected two employees would steal from him and told authorities, according to the complaint. Furthermore, an informant whom Schwamm and Anderson allegedly thought would assist in the heist told authorities the details.

Schwamm reportedly told the informant they would steal the corn when the owner was out of town in January of this year. The informant said Schwamm didn’t think the owner would notice 14,000 missing bushels, as it would appear the corn had dried and shrunk in the bin.

The informant called police shortly before the theft at about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 31. The informant drove the semi truck and estimated he let Schwamm fill the first truckload with more than 500 bushels of corn, which is roughly worth $3,000. Officers pulled into the grain bin site during the attempted theft and arrested Anderson and Schwamm.

During an interview, according to the court complaint, both Anderson and Schwamm admitted to stealing the corn.

Anderson pleaded guilty in March and was convicted on Sept. 24 for one count of felony theft. She was sentenced to five years’ supervised probation, 120 days in jail and fined $50.

Schwamm pleaded not guilty on Oct. 15 to felony charges of theft and conspiracy to commit theft. He has a settlement conference set for April 2013 in Steele County.

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