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Three brothers are charged with felonies for crimes in Renville County, Minn.

OLIVIA — Three Annandale brothers made their first court appearances Thursday on multiple felony theft and property damage charges for stealing multiple pickups from Buffalo Lake businesses and damaging the vehicles by sawing off the catalytic converters.

Phillip Lee Harrison, 23, Billy Curtis Harrison, 21, and Charles Lee Harrison, 19, each face a total of six felony charges, including four for motor vehicle theft and one each of theft and property damage in Renville County District Court.

According to Assistant County Attorney Laurence Stratton, unconditional bail was set at $25,000 for each of the brothers. Stratton noted that the County Attorney’s Office will file more charges as law enforcement officials complete their investigations into similar incidents in Olivia and other areas of the county.

According to the Wright County sheriff’s jail roster, the brothers have been held in that county’s jail since Nov. 7. Each of the brothers also faces felony charges for receiving stolen property in Wright County District Court.

The complaints against the trio alleged that they stole four pickups valued at $37,000, took $9,657.21 worth of property from the four pickups and caused $16,832.75 worth of damage to the vehicles by crashing one of the trucks and sawing the catalytic converters off all four of the vehicles.

According to the complaints, the Buffalo Lake Police Department was notified on Nov. 5 that a vehicle had been stolen from South Central Grain and Energy and was found at K&S Millwrights. The pickup, a 1999 Dodge Ram, belonged to an employee of one of the businesses. Officers located a cell phone on the ground near the vehicle and matched information from the cell phone company to a cell phone number for Billy Harrison provided by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators used search warrants to get the cell phone information on the trio and found the brothers called each other 56 times between 1:49 a.m. and 6:21 a.m. on Nov. 5. The phone data, including triangulation data identifying the proximity to cell towers, showed the calls were made in the vicinity of Buffalo Lake.

The other three vehicles, taken from K&S Millwrights, were located abandoned near Buffalo Lake. The regular drivers of the vehicles, all work trucks, reported that a great deal of property was missing from the vehicles.

Law enforcement officers from Renville County and other jurisdictions executed a search warrant Nov. 7 at the brothers’ Wright County residence and found a great deal of stolen property, including K&S logbooks and personal property that was stolen from the pickups. The property included power and hand tools, electronic items, radios, spare tires, fire extinguishers and tie-down straps.

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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