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Olivia, Minn., man, woman charged with burglary, caught striping copper from house

WILLMAR -- Linda Ann Evans, 47, and Lance Anthony Klein, 56, both of Olivia, made their first court appearance Tuesday on second-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools charges for allegedly entering a rural Lake Lillian residence Saturday, and stealing copper wire and piping from the home.

Unconditional bail was set at $20,000 for both defendants. They also face misdemeanor theft and property damage charges. Their next appearances in Kandiyohi County District Court are scheduled for June 3.

According to the complaints, Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputies were called to a residence along 45th Street Southeast near Lake Lillian around 6:30 p.m. Saturday on a report that the owner of the property had found two people there stealing wire and pipe.

Deputies found Evans and Klein and the owner at the property. The propert owner said Klein was in the garage going through property when he arrived. The man saw Klein take electrical wire and copper out of a vehicle and dump the materials into a steel drum.

The house was no longer occupied, but checked on periodically, the owner reported. The vehicle, registered to Klein, was parked behind the house so it was not visible from the road.

Inside the home was a hole in the living room wall with wires sticking out and the copper pipes connecting the water heater and kitchen sink were missing.

Both suspects were arrested, and deputies found a channel lock pliers with "Lance" engraved on the handle in the vehicle and a utility knife on Evans. Close examination of the tools revealed cooper residue on the blades of both tools.

During interviews, both Evans and Klein claimed that they stopped at the place so Klein could urinate and that he dropped Evans off to look for agates and rocks. Klein claimed he entered the garage to find a cat and that he then took a closer look at bikes in the garage. He admitted to taking the copper out of the vehicle, but didn't know how the items got into the vehicle.

Evans denied that she'd entered the house or taken the copper pipe or wire and didn't know how the items got into the vehicle. She claimed she hadn't used the utility knife for two days and had been working on an apartment complex in Olivia with friends.

Dan Burdett

Dan Burdett is the community content coordinator at the West Central Tribune. He has 13 years experience in print media, to include four years enlisted service in the United States Air Force. He has been an employee of Forum Communications since 2005, joining the company after spending two years as the managing editor of the Redwood Gazette and Livewire in Redwood Falls. Prior to his current position, Dan was the presentation editor at the Tribune.

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