One now guilty in Lansing car thefts

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One of two men involved in a series of vehicle thefts from August 2011 pleaded guilty to two felony theft charges Monday in Mower County Court.

Jeffrey Myles Folkert, 44, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony vehicle theft. Two other felony theft charges were dismissed.

Aaron Michael Anderson, 32, previously pleaded not guilty as to his involvement.

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According to the court complaint, witnesses say Anderson and Folkert collaborated in stealing vehicles from Nicol’s Auto in Lansing. The owner of Nicol’s reported someone on Aug. 18, 2011, stole a 1998 Chevy truck from the property that contained spare tires and $600 worth of motocross gear. Then, on Aug. 23, 2011, the owner again reported a 1972, Chevy truck worth $10,000 stolen. Surveillance video from Rochester also links one truck to a stolen flatbed trailer. Police later found removed license plates to the 1998 Chevy, as well.

Detectives questioned both Folkert and Anderson about the thefts. Folkert admitted to participating in several car thefts with Anderson but denied involvement in the 1972 Chevy theft, according to the court complaint. Anderson added he “helped” someone get rid of stuff and said he removed a transmission from a 1972 Chevy but denied involvement in any vehicle thefts. Anderson is scheduled for an Oct. 12 pretrial. Folkert is set for sentencing on Dec. 21.