Brothers charged in thefts

FAIRMONT – A pair of brothers from rural Trimont face numerous charges of burglary and theft following a string of burglaries spread over four counties.

Officials say the value of stolen items is between $200,000 and $250,000.

Bryan Paul Poppe, 20, and his brother Brandon Steven Bruce Poppe, 17, along with Dylan Thomas Thompson, 19, of Jackson, allegedly stole machinery and tools throughout Martin County, in Jackson and Watonwan counties, and in Emmet County in Iowa.

Martin County Sheriff’s Capt. Corey Klanderud stated that more stolen items are still being uncovered.

“Some of it they buried,” Klanderud said. “It was like a squirrel burying nuts.”

Charges against the Poppe brothers filed in Martin County on Friday state the burglaries began in May and continued through the summer.

According to information from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office:

On May 19, the sheriff’s department received a report of a stolen Polaris Ranger ATV from a shed on the west side of Fox Lake. The estimated value was $9,500.

On May 26, a John Deere lawn tractor with a three-point hitch tiller and a custom loader bucket was reported stolen from a locked shed on the east side of Fox Lake.The estimated vale was $29,500.

On July 1, a motocross helmet and chest protector were stolen from a building in Martin County, with access was gained through a locked window.

On July 27, a shop was broken into in the city of Welcome. Damage to the door being kicked in was estimated at $2,000 and a number of tools were stolen, with an estimated value of $6,000.

On July 31, Trimont police received a report of a theft of a hydraulic dump trailer stolen from a lot on the east end of Trimont that had an estimated value of $4,000.

On Aug. 7, Trimont police received a report of a tandem axle tilt bed car trailer that was stolen, which had a value of $6,500.

On Aug. 13, a hay rake was reported stolen, but later recovered in Watonwan County.

On Aug. 14, an Agway round bail carrier with 11 round bales was reported stolen, but later recovered. The total value was $4,600.

On Aug. 26, Truman police received a report of a stolen John Deere yard tractor from Martin County Implement that was valued at nearly $43,000.

There were a total of 13 thefts reported from May through the end of August.

Police suspected both Poppes and the man from Jackson. On Sept. 11, Bryan and Brandon Poppe were interviewed. Brandon Poppe admitted to being along on some of the thefts, acting as a driver or lookout while his brother and the man from Jackson committed the thefts.

When Bryan P. Poppe was interviewed, he gave some details about some of the individual thefts. He told police that items such as the tractors or the ATV were driven to Thompson’s residence. Occasionally, the machines were used to help commit other thefts, such as the tractor stolen from the Martin County Implement being used to steal a hayrack from a location north of Sherburn on Highway 4.

Afterward, they either got rid of the items or hid them in areas throughout southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Bryan Poppe told police some locations of where the items were hidden.

He also admitted to a burglary he committed in December in rural Sherburn. Items reported stolen from the incident were valued at around $1,200.

Brandon Poppe faces three charges of third-degree burglary and six counts of theft for his role in the burglaries. He is currently being held at a juvenile facility.

Bryan P. Poppe faces 10 counts of theft; one charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine; six of the theft charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; one carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, along with one gross misdemeanor and one misdemeanor charge of theft.

He also faces four counts of third-degree burglary, each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and one charge of first-degree criminal damage to property; maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Charges against Thompson are still pending in Martin County.