Charges: Deputies Thwart Pipe Theft from Rochester Area Radio Tower
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- Two southeastern Minnesota men are facing charges in connection to an attempted pipe theft at a Rochester-area radio tower that court documents say was thwarted by law enforcement.
The criminal complaint, filed in Olmsted County Court Monday, says the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office responded to the radio tower at the intersection of Collegeview Rd. Southeast and Olmsted County Rd. 102 on the report of suspicious activity on Friday. Deputies were advised that two men were seen attempting to jump a fence at the property.
Upon arrival they found a vehicle with a U-Haul trailer and the roof latch of the building was open. Deputies obtained the key code and entered the building through a door.
After announcing their presence, two men emerged from hiding places inside of the building. Court documents identify the men as 22-year-old Max Richard Lehman of Rochester and 20-year-old Logan Michael Bolin of Mantorville.
Deputies took both men into custody and observed what appeared to be several freshly cut pipes inside of the structure. Law enforcement also located a power saw at the scene, the charges say.
Bolin told investigators that he was riding with Lehman when Lehman asked him if he wanted to make some money by helping him move scrap metal. Bolin said the vehicle parked at the tower and that Lehman gained access to the property by entering the combination that unlocked a padlock used to lock the building’s back gate, the complaint states.
The men then climbed the structure of the tower and entered the building through a roof hatch that was left open. Bolin told investigators Lehman began cutting pipes inside of the building but stopped and hid once they heard a vehicle pull up to the property, the charges say.
Lehman is facing a felony third-degree burglary charge and a misdemeanor property damage charge and Bolin is charged with aiding and abetting third-degree burglary and misdemeanor property damage. Both men were released without bail but with conditions following their first court appearances on Monday and are due back in court on August 9.