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Madison man sentenced for theft of firearms, tools from vehicles

MADISON -- A man accused of breaking into cars and stealing guns and thousands of dollars worth of other goods following a snowstorm in Madison was sentenced Wednesday in Lac qui Parle County District Court.

Levi Sweat
Levi Sweat

MADISON - A man accused of breaking into cars and stealing guns and thousands of dollars worth of other goods following a snowstorm in Madison was sentenced Wednesday in Lac qui Parle County District Court.

The court stayed a 15-month prison sentence for Levi Sydney Sweat, 22, of Madison, for felony theft. The court ordered that Sweat serve five years of probation and 183 days in jail, with credit for 122 days served. He must also make restitution and pay fines and fees.

Sweat pleaded guilty to the felony theft charge March 15, and the court dismissed four other felony theft charges as part of a plea agreement.

The complaint alleged that Sweat and his girlfriend drove around Madison in his 2010 Buick Lucerne during the night of Nov. 21, 2016. He stopped his vehicle, turned off its lights, and approached parked vehicles. That morning, victims reported the loss of items from their vehicles including two Winchester rifles, shotguns, a handgun and compound bow, laptop computer, a variety of DeWalt power tools, hand tools, Oakley sunglasses, a wallet and other items with a total reported value of nearly $12,000.

On Dec. 8, an investigating sheriff's deputy with the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office received a report from the Trading Post in Willmar that one of the stolen Winchester rifles and some of the stolen tools had been pawned at the shop. According to the complaint, a surveillance video showed Sweat and a friend of his pawning the items.

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Authorities executed a search warrant Dec. 12 at Sweat's residence as well as the other person and seized many of the firearms and other goods reported stolen on Nov. 21.

The officers also recovered $1,000 worth of items including power and hand tools that had been reported stolen Sept. 22 in Madison.

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