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Meeker County sheriff asks property owners to identify their stolen items

LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Sheriff is asking victims of thefts in Meeker, Renville, Kandiyohi and Stearns counties to contact his office to identify their property that was stolen.

Sheriff Jeff Norlin says that more than $50,000 worth of property and 44 victims have been identified so far, but that there is still a lot of property yet to be identified that can claimed by the rightful owners.

The property was recovered July 20 when law enforcement agents served a search warrant on the property of Gerald Leroy Fleshman, age 51, of Eden Valley, and on another location where he was storing property. The items included hand and power tools, ATVs, trailers, chain saws, lawn mowers, generators, fishing equipment, construction equipment and boat motors. The items were seized, and all are believed to be stolen from multiple burglaries throughout the region. Several weapons were also seized.

Fleshman faces 10 felony charges in Meeker County District Court for receiving stolen property, drug and gun possession. He was arrested soon after the search warrants were executed and remains in custody in the county jail.

Many of the larger items, including trailers, have been claimed, but many smaller items, including tools, are still being held by the Sheriff's Office, Norlin said. He estimated that up to half of the items are still unclaimed.

The Sheriff's Office is seeking to inform citizens about the property. Norlin said if you are a victim of a theft within the past nine months, and have not yet reported it, to call the Meeker County Sheriff's Office at 320-693-5400 and speak to an investigator to see if your items have been recovered.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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