Stewartville man charged in snowmobile ‘chop shop’ operation

Published 6:29 am Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Stewartville man was charged in Mower County court Tuesday for his alleged participation in a snowmobile “chop shop” operation.

Jacob Gaynor, 24, faces two counts of felony theft and has been summoned to appear in court on Sept. 24.

According to a court complaint, Gaynor is one of several suspects involved in stealing snowmobiles and ATVs in southeastern Minnesota during this past winter.

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An investigation by the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department had traced a number of stolen vehicles to the residence of a 21-year-old Spring Valley man.

On Feb. 5, the investigation led to another residence in Racine Township, where a 1997 Arctic Cat that had been reported stolen from Winona County was found in a shed.

The property owner said he believed the snowmobile belonged to Gaynor, who was doing farm work at the residence, the report states.

Another vehicle in the shed — a red ATV — had reportedly been acquired in a trade for another stolen snowmobile.

The property owner said Gaynor had asked him to store the ATV, which the defendant said belonged to Dylan Douglas Hanson, 18, who has also been charged with felony theft in Olmsted County and has the same Stewartville residence listed as Gaynor.