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Clearwater man sentenced for Redwood County catalytic converter thefts

A Clearwater man was sentenced in Redwood County Court this month for stealing catalytic converters from area vehicles last summer.

According to court documents, on July 22, at about 1:30 a.m., a citizen called the Redwood Falls Police Department to report hearing the sound of sawing coming from the Redwood Gospel Hall church parking lot on Laser Avenue. When officers arrived at the scene, the noted another vehicle next to the church fans. As the officers approached, they witnessed Shawn David Niebolte, age 40, move himself from under one of the church vans to underneath the other vehicle.

The four catalytic converters of the two church vans were missing. Three of the converters were found in the back seat of the car, while the fourth was found in a nearby corn field, along with a Hackzall reciprocating saw.

Niebolte told the officers he was working on the sway bar of his vehicle. However, no metal shavings were found under his car, although metal shaving were found under the church vans, and on Niebolte’s shirt.

Niebolte was transported to the Redwood County jail.

Shawn David Niebolte was convicted of felony criminal damage to property in the first degree. On Nov. 15 he was sentenced to the correctional facility in St. Cloud for 12 months and one day, stayed for two years. He was also sentenced to 30 days in the Redwood County Jail with credit for 19 days time served, two years supervised probation, paying restitution, and writing a letter of apology to the church.


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