Sheriff looking to connect burglaries to weekend raid

Published 10:30 am Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi is encouraging burglary victims in the area to contact local law enforcement and check whether their belongings are part of the thousands of dollars’ worth of tools, guns and drugs recovered in a Brownsdale raid last weekend.

Local law enforcement say suspects in the raid, which took place Saturday, may have stolen tools from at least five counties thus far — Mower, Steele, Goodhue counties in Minnesota, and Mitchell and Worth counties in Iowa. Several victims have already come forward to claim some of the stolen tools, including one man who was burglarized on Memorial Day.

“We’ve got many things that have peoples’ initials on them,” Amazi said.

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Three people have been charged in connection to the alleged theft ring. Shane Rose, 37, Troy Leeper, 40, and John Dehoff, 28, all face various felony charges, while a fourth suspect was still awaiting charges as of Thursday morning.

According to a court complaint, deputies were tipped off Friday by the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department in Iowa, which had trail camera footage from a burglary victim which showed a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix owned by Rose entering and leaving the property.

Law enforcement raided a shed owned by Rose at the 200 block of Fremont Street Southwest just before 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, where they arrested Rose, Dehoff, the fourth suspect, and Leeper, who was sleeping in a nearby car.

Deputies recovered stolen tools, guns and drugs from the shed, including one gun hidden in the walls in Rose’s office next to “elaborate surveillance equipment,” according to the complaint.

Police also found electronic equipment, including several cell phones, memory cards and digital cameras, inside Rose’s truck.

Deputies eventually searched Rose’s home at the 100 block of Cedar Street Northwest and several other vehicles, where they found even more stolen contraband, according to Amazi.

Amazi said law enforcement is still tallying up the stolen inventory and expects further stolen goods claims from nearby counties. Amazi also expects further charges for each suspect. Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen declined to comment on the case as it’s still under investigation.

Rose has been charged with four counts of possessing firearms as a convicted felon. He has several felony drug convictions, including a third-degree conviction in 2010. Dehoff was charged with third-degree drug possession. Leeper was charged with possessing firearms as a convicted felon and fifth-degree drug possession. He also has a previous felony conviction from 2007.

Their next court appearance is Aug. 7.