Man violates weapons permit

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2001

Robert Whiting III, 34 of Hollandale, was cited for violating his permit to carry a weapon, after a visit to an Austin laundromat Tuesday.

Friday, March 02, 2001

Robert Whiting III, 34 of Hollandale, was cited for violating his permit to carry a weapon, after a visit to an Austin laundromat Tuesday.

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According to an Austin Police Department report, Whiting was observed at the laundromat by customers with a holstered handgun visible at his waistline.

Police were called and when they visited the Excalibur Laundromat along First Avenue Southwest near the McDonald’s Restaurant. They discovered the man folding clothes at a table, wearing a holstered handgun.

Whiting produced his handgun carry permit, which was valid until Jan. 31, 2002. The permit has been issued by the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Department Whiting told police he is employed as a bail bondsman and was on assignment "24 hours a day, 7 days a week," because of the nature of his work.

Whiting also told police he worked for Absolute Bail Bonds of Austin, but when manager Chris Weis was contacted, Weis told police Whiting was an independent contractor and not presently working on any assignment from the firm.

Police seized Whiting’s 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, pending payment of a $500 fine and cited him for violating of the permit to carry law.

Also Wednesday at the Austin laundromat, a manger reported to police a male has been captured on video surveillance cameras exposing himself and masturbating.

In each tape made by the surveillance cameras, no customers are in the laundromat.

The laundromat manager produced several video tapes of the man from last year and more recently and asked police to apprehend the man and file charges.

The incident remains under investigation.

House burglaries prompt warning

Mower County Sheriff Barry J. Simonson is warning rural residents to ensure their residences and other buildings are protected.

A rash of burglaries at rural residences near Brownsdale and south of Austin prompted the alert from Sheriff Simonson.

In each incident, the homes were unoccupied at the time of the burglaries, doors were kicked open and the houses ransacked. Jewelry has been taken, as well as other valuables.

In one daylight incident, a passing motorist saw a vehicle and a man walking through the snow to the house. He gave deputies investigating a burglary at the residence a description of the man and vehicle and the information is being shared with other patrol deputies in the county.

The most recent burglaries were discovered Tuesday and Wednesday.

Because some of the burglaries reported involved residents who were away from their homes at the time of the daylight intrusions, Simonson issued a plea to citizens for information.

"The same method of operation appears to have been used in each of the burglaries and we think they may be connected," Simonson said.

Anyone having information about suspicious activities at rural residents should call 437-9400 immediately.