Man pleads not guilty four burglary charges

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A Sargeant man is facing four felony counts of burglary and theft related to a residential burglary in rural Waltham in January.

Michael Dale VanBuskirk, 30

Michael Dale VanBuskirk, 30, pleaded not guilty to second degree burglary, third degree burglary, theft and possession of stolen property in Mower County District Court on Monday.

According to court documents, a detective with the Mower County Sheriff’s Office conducted a follow-up investigation on Jan. 20, of a burglary in Waltham Township.

The detective was aware that VanBuskirk had been found sleeping in his vehicle on an abandoned farm after property owners discovered him and called the law enforcement.

At the time he had been arrested for driving while impaired, but they also discovered in his vehicle rubber gloves, flashlights, binoculars, bolt cutters and various power tools. The detective was granted a search warrant for a mobile tracking device on VanBuskirk’s car subsequently discovered location data placing the vehicle in the 60000 block of 310th Street on Jan. 14 from 6:31 a.m. to 12:21 p.m.

The detective was also advised that the Austin Police Department took a forged check report on Jan. 19 and that an adult suspect, Tonya Turvey, had been arrested. Turvey told law enforcement that VanBuskirk allegedly gave the check to her.

In talking to the victim of the stolen checks, he told law enforcement that the checks had previously been stored at the same property in the 60000 block of 310th Street that VanBuskirk had been tracked to on Jan. 19.

He also reported that the house and several buildings had been broken into. An arrest report from Jan. 16 for a second DWI arrest on VanBuskirk indicated that a plasma cutter had been discovered in the vehicle and photographed.

The victim of the check theft indicated that it was one of the items stolen and later identified a total of $1,658 worth of items that had been reported stolen.

A closer look at tracking data indicated that VanBuskirk’s vehicle had traveled to a residence in Austin and then West Side Mini Storage, where the car returned to the following day and appeared to move between two separate storage units. Deputies investigated those associated with the two units discovered that one of them knew VanBuskirk through another friend.

He said he allowed VanBuskirk to use the storage unit, and that VanBuskirk had put his own lock on it.

The man connected to the unit cut it off and replaced it with his own, but noticed that VanBuskirk had put some property in the storage unit. After being allowed to look in the unit, the victim of the stolen checks identified several items belonging to him.

VanBuskirk’s next court date is June 24.