Police charge man for slew of robberies at Montevideo, Minn., businesses
MONTEVIDEO — Authorities in Chippewa County believe they are close to solving a series of recent burglaries to businesses in Montevideo.
Charges have been filed against one suspect and charges are expected soon against at least one other.
Erik McKenzie Fultz, 33, of rural Granite Falls, appeared Thursday in district court in Montevideo on felony charges of third-degree burglary, attempted burglary, theft and criminal damage to property. He is accused of burglarizing or attempting to burglarize five different Montevideo businesses since Feb. 24, including the Klein Bank, a Minnwest Bank ATM machine, Art’s Dairy Freeze, Plaza Theatre and Midwest Collision.
An investigation is ongoing into burglaries reported at least four other Montevideo businesses. Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson said a suspect is expected to be charged for burglaries other than those charged against Fultz. The investigation is expected to result in charges in all of the reported burglaries.
Fultz is currently being held in the Chippewa County Jail. The court ordered bail was set at $75,000 with conditions and $100,000 without conditions.
Montevideo police officers took Fultz into custody after executing a search warrant April 16 at a residence in Montevideo. The complaint alleged that after questioning, Fultz admitted to breaking into Midwest Collision twice, Art’s Dairy Freeze, the Minnwest Bank ATM Machine, Klien Bank and Plaza Theater.
He denied involvement in burglaries reported to Jake’s Pizza, Beal’s Optometry, the Hair Station and the Wash Tub.
Police recovered lock picking tools left behind at some of the burglary scenes. They found similar lock picking tools in Fultz’s coat pocket when executing the search warrant. They recovered lock picks, white latex gloves and white gloves with black dots on them.
He is accused of having caused thousands of dollars in damage to the businesses by breaking doors, cabinets and in one case, a business safe that contained more than $3,000 in cash.
Fultz’s arrest was made possible after Montevideo officer George Eklund was on patrol April 15 and spotted an individual who looked like the person on a surveillance video of the attempted ATM machine burglary. The officer made contact with the man and learned he was Fultz, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, Fultz later told police he conducted the burglaries alone and there was no particular reason for the businesses he selected.
The complaint quotes him as saying he was “was just walking around town when he did the burglaries.’’