Man charged with stealing multiple items from farm; An estimated $7,400 worth of items allegedly missing
Published 8:30 am Thursday, December 27, 2018
Troy Alan Meyer, 52, of Austin was charged on Friday in Mower County District Court with felony third-degree burglary-theft from building, felony theft-take/use/transfer movable property without consent and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession.
According to the court complaint, Mower County deputies were dispatched at 2:10 p.m. on Dec. 15 to the 25000 block of 630th Avenue in Dexter Township to speak with a man regarding a theft.
Dispatch said the man was driving by a nearby farm he owned when he observed a red 1991 Ford Ranger full of his property pulling out of the driveway. The man said he followed the Ford north on County Road 20 and used his cell phone to take a picture. The deputies gave dispatch the license plate number, which was registered to a man in Austin. An Austin police officer drove by the registration residence, but did not see the Ford.
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The victim said a cast iron wood burning stove, a John Deere snow blower attachment, a large gas generator, a John Deere de-thatching attachment, the cab of a John Deere 420 mower, and several dog fence panels and 2” X 8” pieces of lumber were missing. He estimated the value in excess of $1,000. A deputy drove to the farm with him and photographed tracks in the snow that led to a large open shed. The deputy also observed shoe prints and drag marks in the snow.
An officer saw a BOLO report on the Ford and recalled Meyer was driving it during a recent traffic stop. During the stop, Meyer had told the officer he was borrowing the vehicle. The officer went to Meyer’s residence in the 1000 block of Seventh Street SE and saw the Ford in the driveway. Several pieces of lumber, a tire and miscellaneous items were in the back. A woman at the residence said Meyer was not there. The officer then had the truck towed to the Mower County Law Enforcement Center, where it was examined and appeared to be an exact match of the truck in the photograph. The tire treads also appeared to match the track prints found at the farm and rubber boots in the cab matched the shoe prints found at the scene.
Deputies met with the man whose name was on the registration. He told them he had sold the truck to Meyer and produced a bill of sale dated Oct. 20.
Deputies executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found receipts from Watson Recycling for Meyer and a woman. A deputy went to Watson Recycling and spoke to the owner, who said he recalled Meyer often came to his business with the woman and had once “scrapped” a stove with a silver top. He provided the deputy with several receipts made out to Meyer.
The victim’s brother emailed a list of other items missing from the farm and their estimated values. They were:
• Parlor stove – $300;
• Camel back trunk – $100;
• Yamaha XS650 motor – $500;
• Antique feed scale – $200;
• Handmade ceramics – $300;
• Three bicycles – $400;
• TV cabinet – $200;
• Metal office desk – $100;
• Cast iron stoves – $500;
• Brackets for attaching bulk tanks – $500;
• Renaissance Festival collector mugs/goblets – $300;
• 10 chain link 6’ X 10’ dog panels – $740;
• John Deere cozy cab for 420 mower – $1,000;
• John Deere snow blower attachment for 420 mower – $1,500;
• John Deere 420 mower chains – $100;
• John Deere 420 de-thatcher attachment – $175;
• 36 pieces of 2” X 8” X 10” lumber – $456; and
• Gas generator – $50.
The victim’s brother also told law enforcement a truck topper that did not belong to anyone in the family had been found inside a shed on the property.
Police executed a search warrant on a residence in the 1500 block of Fourth Avenue Northwest and found Meyer inside. He was questioned about the Ford and admitted to being at the farm site and taking lumber. He denied entering the shed and taking other items, but acknowledged that he frequently “scraps metal.” He was arrested and taken to the Mower County Jail, where he was found to be in possession of 0.24 grams of methamphetamine.
A review of Meyer’s criminal history shows prior convictions for theft, possession of stolen property, issuing dishonored checks and third-degree murder. He is currently awaiting trial on a felony drug charge.
Meyer will appear in court again on Dec. 31.