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St. Cloud man sentenced in Redwood County Court for copper thefts

A St. Cloud man, John George Watson, age 29, was sentenced in Redwood County Court last week for stealing copper items from a Redwood area demolition site.

According to court documents, on April 26 of last year, a Redwood Falls Police officer was dispatched to an area salvage yard on a report of a suspicious sale. Employees stated that Watson had been there earlier in the day trying to sell copper plumbing and wire, claiming the salvaged items were his. The employees described Watson’s car as a red Camaro.

Police later spoke with the contractor who had been hired to complete demolition work at a Redwood Falls hotel. The contractor stated he had salvage rights to all the property recovered during the demolition, and had piled the copper and brass items at a secured site in the hotel. The property owner later contacted the contractor to say there was a red vehicle parked outside, and a man was removing copper and brass items using a trash bin.

The contractor also stated a locked window and a locked steel door at the hotel had been both opened. About 40 pounds of copper and 60 pounds of brass fittings, with a value of approximately $1,500, were missing from the demolition site.

Watson told investigators he had been given permission to remove the items, but that he could not provide law enforcement with the name of the person who had given him permission.

On March 15, John George Watson was sentence for felony burglary in the second degree to 23 months in the correctional facility in St. Cloud with credit for 238 days time served.



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