Charges filed in theft cases

WINNEBAGO – More details are emerging about the Monday arrests of five Winnebago residents allegedly involved in a theft ring.

Appearing in court Wednesday were Cody Diaz, 24; Chase James, 27; Tessa Anderson, 28; Anthony Diaz, 56; and Anthony Diaz Jr., 35, all of Winnebago. They are all being held in the Faribault County Jail.

Ten charges, some felonies, have been filed against the quintet, according to Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman.

“But I’m not done yet; I’ve got more to go,” he said

The case began with a simple speeding stop by Blue Earth police, according to Sheriff Mike Gormley.

“Speeding, then it goes to DWI, then they’re seeing stuff in the car,” Timmerman said.

“A lot of times that’s how it happens,” Gormley said. “They’re stopped for one thing and they find something else.”

Cody Diaz is charged with fleeing an officer, DWI, fifth-degree possession of drugs and second-degree burglary.

James is charged with making terroristic threats for allegedly threatening to kill a Blue Earth police officer, and he and Anderson face charges of receiving stolen property and fifth-degree drug possession. James and Anderson also are charged with child endangerment for allegedly allowing an infant to be present around a meth pipe.

Anthony Diaz Jr. and Anthony Diaz Sr. face charges of receiving stolen property and fifth-degree drug possession.

Bail and bond have been set, Timmerman noted. He expects to see the group in court again Monday.

“I don’t think I’m halfway through analyzing the reports to decide what criminal complains to file,” he said.

The defendants reportedly were found with “handtools, powertools, wire, scrap, copper pipe and things of that nature, and miscellaneous other stuff,” Gormley said.

He added that officials are still investigating counterfeit money that was seized.

More charges could be filed in the future as information comes to light, Gormley said.

“It’s been a team effort with Blue Earth and Winnebago police and our sheriff’s office,” he said.

The sheriff is asking citizens to call Blue Earth Police at (507)?526-5959, Winnebago Police at (507) 893-3218 or the Faribault County Sheriff at (507)?526-5148 with information about missing items taken over the past year.

“It’s been going on for a while,” he said of the thefts.

The group is suspected of stealing the wire, copper piping and tubing from abandoned houses and electrical businesses. The scrap metal is being sold to scrapyards for cash.

“That is a huge problem we’ve noticed for a while,” Gormley noted.