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Redwood County, Minn., charges two for stealing electricity

REDWOOD FALLS -- A Redwood Falls man faces felony theft charges for allegedly stealing electricity from the utilities serving his home and business, and his father-in-law is accused of aiding and abetting the thefts.

The Redwood County Attorney's office filed amended charges of felony theft on June 6 against Timothy Dean Wertish, 41, of Redwood Falls. It filed amended charges of aiding and abetting theft and conspiracy to commit theft against Terry Dean Johnson, 65, of rural Spicer and also of Springfield.

According to the complaints, Johnson is a certified electrician who operates and owns Springfield Plumbing and Heating. The complaints state that in November 2009, construction crews at the Timothy Wertish residence at 35994 Hunt Drive, Redwood County, cut the electrical supply line.

The complaints allege that at this time, Johnson altered the wiring at the residence so that electricity to a machine shed was not metered. The complaint charges that Wertish stole between $5,400 to $6,300 worth of electricity from the Redwood Electric Cooperative from November 2009 to May 31, 2013, that was not metered.

The complaints also allege that Johnson installed a second electrical panel and altered the wiring at the Redwood Auto Sales building on the 1600 block of East Bridge Street in Redwood Falls. The wiring was altered so that electricity to a 20-kilowatt boiler that heats the entire building was not metered.

The complaints allege that from Oct. 1, 2009, to May 31, 2013, Wertish stole $7,531.21 worth of electricity.

Both men have made their first appearances in District Court in Redwood Falls, and are scheduled to return to court July 22.