Amazi: theft investigation could take months

Published 10:15 am Monday, August 4, 2014

It could take months to finish an investigation into a suspected theft ring in Brownsdale, according to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.

Amazi said Monday that deputies are looking into the thousands of items retrieved from a July 26 raid of a shed, home and several cars in Brownsdale, but the investigation could take longer than expected given the amount of stolen tools and other items law enforcement found.

Amazi said deputies have potentially connected stolen goods to burglaries in five counties thus far — Mower, Steele and Goodhue counties in Minnesota, and Mitchell and Worth counties in Iowa. Several victims have come forward to claim some of the stolen tools since Amazi publicly called for more information last Thursday.

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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. Amazi said Rose and the fourth suspect were re-arrested over the weekend in Mitchell County in connection to a burglary that took place last month.

According to a court complaint, deputies were tipped off on July 25 by the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department in Iowa. Mower County received trail camera footage from an Iowa burglary victim that 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 early on July 26, 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.

Further charges are expected for all four suspects as the investigation continues.

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.