WILLMAR -- Two 17-year-olds from the southern Twin Cities pleaded not guilty Monday to felony theft charges for allegedly breaking into numerous cars parked around Green Lake and taking items from the vehicle, including two Willmar police badges.
Zachary Curtis Thompson of Burnsville and Justin Tyler Stolhanske of Eagan are also charged with a misdemeanor for motor vehicle tampering. Both will make their next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court on Nov. 22.
Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-old juveniles are public record.
According to the petitions against the teens, officers from the Mendota Heights Police Department informed the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's office on Aug. 25 that the department had possession of two Willmar Police Department badges.
The badges, along with a large amount of suspected stolen property, were located during a traffic stop of Stolhanske's vehicle. The items included a pair of handcuffs, sunglasses, music players, a badge holder, binoculars, flashlights, knives and other small items. Also located in the vehicle was $724 in cash.
Information from the Mendota Heights department helped local officers determine that Stolhanske had been staying at County Park 5 on Green Lake. Both teens had left Aug. 24 to return to the Twin Cities.
The teens were interviewed and allegedly admitted to taking the property from vehicles parked around Green Lake. The property was identified by the rightful owners and the total value of the property was more than $1,000.