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1 charged in Lyle Township burglary

An Austin man who allegedly burglarized a Lyle Township residence made his first appearance on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Troy Arthur Leeper, 47

Troy Arthur Leeper, 47, has been charged with felony second-degree burglary – unoccupied dwelling, felony third-degree burglary, felony theft – take/use/transfer movable property without consent, and felony receiving stolen property.

According to the court complaint, a Mower County deputy responded to a report on Aug. 7 of a burglary that occured in the 11000 block of 535th Avenue in Lyle Township. The property owners, who were in the process of building a new home, reported numerous tools and other items stolen from the property. The south door of the building had been pried open and shoe prints were seen next to the building and inside on the floor. The owners also reported vehicle tracks in fresh concrete near the front of the building and drag marks in the concrete leading out the door.

The owners believed the burglary occurred during the first week of August.

The following items were reported stolen:

• Champion dual fuel generator;

• Porter Cable air compressor (red in color);

• 1,000’ spool of 12.2 wire (yellow in color);

• Ridgid compound miter saw;

• Blue table saw with a broken bottom;

• Ryobi 3-wheel string trimmer;

• PowerMaster Plus nail gun;

• Curve speaker (black in color);

• Dewalt Atomic Compact tool;

• Dewalt impact driver and drill kit in plastic box (20 volt);

• Pampered Chef air fryer;

• Stihl chainsaw;

• Milwaukee 100’ tape measure;

• Three tin snips (red, green, and yellow);

• Two 30 lb. propane tanks;

• Two car batteries; and

• B & W Companion 5th wheel hitch.

The total amount of property stolen was valued at $6,473.87.

The owners also reported that the fuel line of their Kubota B2650 tractor had been cut.

On Aug. 5, law enforcement conducted a search warrant at Leeper’s residence in the 1400 block of 17th Avenue Southwest in Austin. Numerous tools and other presumably stolen property were seen by law enforcement at Leeper’s residence. The deputy reviewed photographs taken from Leeper’s residence and showed them to one of the property owners, who recognized several stolen items.

Another search warrant was executed on Leeper’s residence and several stolen items were recovered.

At the Mower County Jail, Leeper was read a Miranda warning and told about the second search warrant. He was also told that items present during the first search warrant were no longer present on the premises.

When asked about the Lyle Township burglary, Leeper said he did not remember which night he stole the property because he was always high on methamphetamine. He claimed he did not enter any buildings at the property and that the items he stole were located outside.

Law enforcement went to a residence in the 800 block of 12th Avenue Northwest that belonged to one of Leeper’s relatives to locate more stolen property. The property owner located several more stolen items at the residence.

A review of Leeper’s criminal record shows prior convictions for assault and drug possession. He is currently awaiting disposition on charges of felony second-degree drugs – sale – 10 grams of meth or more with the intent to sell, felony third-degree drugs – possess 10 grams or more of a narcotic drug other than heroin, felony first-degree DWI – any amount of schedule I/II drugs – and felony fifth-degree drug possession.

Leeper will appear in court again on Sept. 9.