Robber found asleep in car pleads not guilty

Published 10:54 am Friday, February 3, 2017

okland-jadeA man arrested after a woman found him sleeping in her car in the garage of her Fourth Avenue Southeast home has pleaded not guilty to two felonies and four misdemeanors.

Jade Allen Okland, 22, of Blue Earth, Minnesota, faces charges of felony first-degree burglary, felony third-degree burglary and four misdemeanors: theft, damage to property, tampering with a motor vehicle, and giving police a false name.

According to court records and a police report, an Austin woman went to her garage at about 5:30 a.m. Jan. 13 and was surprised to find a man sleeping in the backseat of her car. She returned to her home and contacted authorities.

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The man was gone from the garage upon the arrival of police, but they located him on foot at the intersection of 20th Street and First Avenue Southeast. He was found to have two cell phones, one of which was identified by the victim as hers and which had been left in her vehicle.

They also found a knife, and a pair of scissors with the tip broken. The tip was later found in the ignition of the woman’s vehicle.

According to the complaint, the suspect claimed he was “homeless and cold” so he tried to get warm and that was why he was in the backseat of her vehicle.

Police said the suspect gave a false name to police, but jail staff allegedly recognized the man and provided the name.

The victim said the side door to her garage was unlocked. Police Chief Brian Krueger said residents need to be aware of the dangers of leaving doors unlocked.