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Spicer 19-year-old sentenced for burglarizing Willmar home

WILLMAR -- A 19-year-old Spicer teen was sentenced Monday to 60 days in custody, probation until his 21st birthday and 100 hours of community service on a second-degree burglary charge for breaking into a Willmar home.

Mathew James Zuroff was also ordered to pay $5,500 in restitution as part of his juvenile sentence in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Zuroff was sentenced under extended juvenile jurisdiction, under which a young defendant receives a juvenile sentence and a stayed adult sentence. If the juvenile fails to comply with the juvenile sentence, the adult sentence is enacted. His adult sentence is 23 months in prison.

As part of a plea agreement, three additional felony charges were dismissed. According to the petition against Zuroff, analysis of a blood sample taken from the scene of the Jan. 19, 2008, crime implicated him as the burglar. The analysis was completed by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-olds are public record.

According to the petition, Willmar police were called Feb. 1, 2008, to a home in the city's northwest quadrant. A couple had just returned from a vacation and found $10,000 in property had been stolen from their home.

Someone had entered through a utility room window and the cold air entering the room caused the water pipes to freeze and burst. The leaking pipes had caused about $11,000 in damage, including saturated carpet, damaged drywall, a broken water softener and broken water meter.

Every drawer of the home had been gone through and items were strewn all over.

Missing items included jewelry, a shotgun, a jar of coins, a leather jacket, ammunition, a television, computer and screen, DVD player, tuner and multiple DVDs.

Officers found dried blood on several items, including a freezer and gun safe that had been moved during the burglary. Samples were taken and sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The samples matched the convicted offender sample on file for Zuroff, who has

three prior juvenile adjudications for burglary, and adjudications for property damage and motor vehicle theft in January 2010.

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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