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Man charged for allegedly stealing beer from garage of Willmar, Minn., home

Kevin Sorenson is charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, and a misdemeanor theft charge.

WILLMAR — Kevin Gene Sorenson, 50, of Willmar, made his first appearance Wednesday on a felony charge of third-degree burglary for allegedly entering the unattached garage of a Willmar residence and stealing the alcoholic beverages stored in a refrigerator in the garage.

Sorenson, who also faces a misdemeanor theft charge, was released on his personal recognizance. His next appearance is Feb. 25 in Kandiyohi County District Court

According to the complaint, the investigation by Willmar police began on Oct. 25, when the residents of a home in the northwest quadrant of the city reported that someone had entered their garage and drank a half bottle of rum and several beers that were chilling in the refrigerator.

The person had left the empty rum bottle and beer cans in the refrigerator.

The residents suspected Sorenson and confronted him with the allegations. They told police that Sorenson had denied entering the garage or taking the alcohol.

The residents reported to police in early November that more beer was missing from the garage refrigerator. The Police Department installed a motion-activated camera in the garage, putting the camera directly over the refrigerator.

The images captured by the camera were reviewed after Nov. 30, when the residents reported more alcohol missing from the garage. The images showed, on Nov. 18 and Nov. 28, that a man, suspected as Sorenson, was inside the garage.

One of the residents picked Sorenson from a photo lineup and noted they knew he lived a few blocks from their home.  

Sorenson was interviewed and initially denied entering the garage and taking the alcohol. After he was told about the camera and the resulting images, he allegedly admitted to entering the garage two or three times and taking beer. He told the officer he did not remember how much beer he had taken from the garage, which was unlocked.

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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