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Litchfield man pleads to burglary, scrap metal theft

WILLMAR -- A 22-year-old Litchfield man pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony charges stemming from a May 4 burglary at the Atwater golf club and a March 10 theft of scrap metal from a Sunburg business.

As part of a plea agreement, Timothy Lee Smith pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and theft. Two felony charges for theft and aiding and abetting theft will be dismissed. He will be sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court on Dec. 18.

Smith and Cody Lyle Lawren Jackson, 19, of Atwater were charged with both crimes. Jackson pleased guilty and will be sentenced Nov. 3.

According to the complaint, a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy was dispatched to the Island Pines Golf Course on May 5 on a burglary report. Reported missing were golf clubs, money, video games and the keys to two golf carts. The total value was estimated at $1,315. The course manager also reported a golf cart had a bent axle and the missing keys were found in the pro shop.

Atwater Police Chief Reed Schmidt received information that Jackson and Smith were involved in the burglary. He visited Smith at his home in Litchfield. A relative had discovered golf clubs stashed in the rafters of the garage and observed golf balls in his truck.

Smith told Schmidt that the clubs in the garage were not his and that they belonged to Jackson. He said Jackson approached him and told him to go to the golf club after finding an unlocked door. Smith admitted they went inside and took pop and the golf clubs. However, he said Jackson took the money. Schmidt searched Smith's truck and found several boxes of golf balls.

During an interview, Jackson admitted to stealing pop, candy, and the golf clubs and balls. He said both he and Smith drove the carts and ran them into each other.

According to the complaint, the owner of Jorgenson Auto Sales contacted the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office on March 15 to report that radiators and aluminum wheels were taken from a storage shed. Both contained a significant amount of valuable metal.

The next day, the man contacted law enforcement again, notifying investigators that he had found several of the wheels at Windy Hill Auto Parts of rural New London. He also had a photocopy of a check and receipt detailing a transaction for radiators and rims between the business and Jackson. The next day, the owner and a detective from the sheriff's office interviewed Windy Hill personnel and was informed another man was with Jackson. The detective also learned that some of the rims were rare and not something that would commonly be sold for scrap.

The value of the items was estimated at $1,825.

When interviewed, Jackson and Smith admitted to the thefts and using a bolt cutter to enter the shed. They said they were in Sunburg to visit someone and knew they could get money for the metal auto parts. Smith said they split the money from the scrap sale.