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Two convicted of trespassing at historic building to 'see ghosts'

MONTEVIDEO -- Two men who allegedly told officers they wanted to "see the ghosts'' pleaded guilty to trespassing into a locked building after allegedly breaking into the Swensson Farmstead, a historic property in Chippewa County.

Charles Dean Scheer, 26, of Redwood Falls, and Mathew Scott Tesch, 32, of Granite Falls, entered guilty pleas July 2 in District Court in Montevideo. Both men were ordered to serve 30 days in jail, with 27 days stayed, one year of probation, pays fines, and to make restitution.

Charges of burglary in the second degree to a government, religious historic or school building; damage to property; and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed against each.

A Minnesota State Patrol officer encountered Scheer on the driveway of the historic site and Tesch in a nearby ditch when responding to a call that a burglar alarm had been triggered there at 1:18 a.m. on June 30.

The officer and a Chippewa County sheriff's deputy also responding found that an etched glass window on the front door of the historic house had been shattered. A metal post used to prevent the door from being kicked in had been bent, indicative that a large amount of force had been used.

The glass window had an old, etched glass picture on it, and may not be replaceable. Its value was not known, according to the complaint.

The complaint charges that the men told the officers they believed the house was haunted, and that they had gotten a ride from friends to the rural site. Scheer allegedly told the officers that they had squeezed by the door, walked inside with a cigarette lighter, did not see much, and walked back to the roadway.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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