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Man suspected of stealing truck, attempting burglary of dealership


From Staff Reports
Published 4:01 p.m. CT July 28, 2020


Steven Douglas Nelson (Photo: Benton County jail)

MINDEN TOWNSHIP — A Pine City man is suspected of breaking into an auto dealership, taking keys to vehicles, attempting to steal an employee’s vehicle and fleeing in a truck he allegedly stole earlier that same afternoon.

Steven Douglas Nelson, 40, is facing one felony charge of attempted motor vehicle theft and one felony third-degree burglary charge, according to a criminal complaint filed in Benton County District Court.

About 3:27 p.m. Saturday, Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a stolen motor vehicle at a Minden Township business. According to the complaint, a caller told police he had gone to investigate noises outside and found a man, who he later identified as Nelson, sitting in the cab of his truck.

The man told officers that Nelson told him he was interested in buying the truck, according to the complaint. The man then spoke with Nelson for a few minutes. When Nelson asked him how the truck was started, the man told police he showed Nelson his key fob, and that Nelson took the keys, started the truck and drove off.

Officers stopped Nelson in this vehicle in St. Cloud around 8:00 p.m., according to the complaint. They found Nelson’s license had been revoked, and found keys belonging to an auto dealership.

The sheriff’s office received a report of an attempted burglary and motor vehicle theft at an auto dealership Saturday evening, according to the complaint. When deputies arrived, they met with an employee who told them a man he later identified as Nelson had broken in after hours.

According to the complaint, surveillance footage from the business showed Nelson entering the dealership around 7:27 p.m., which likely triggered the alarm, and going upstairs and behind the sales counter.

The employee told officers he responded to the alarm, finding one door to the dealership open. According to the complaint, the employee said he secured the door and returned to find Nelson sitting in his personal vehicle attempting to get it into gear. He confronted Nelson, who exited his vehicle, returned to truck he arrived in, and drove away.

The employee identified multiple sets of keys officers found inside the truck as belonging to the dealership, and identified the man as Nelson.

St. Cloud Police assisted the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation, according to a Monday release from the sheriff’s office.

Nelson’s next appearance in court is scheduled for August 11.

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