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Charges filed after gun reported stolen

Three Rochester men face felony charges after a handgun was allegedly stolen from a car last week at an area health club.

Erik Vargas, 20, was charged with aid and abet theft of a firearm, a felony; and fleeing a peace officer and theft, both misdemeanors.

Santos Vargas, 25, faces one count of felony theft of a firearm; and Michael Lee Crum, 34, was charged with felony possession of a pistol.

Officers were conducting surveillance in the parking lot at Northgate Health Club on March 21 when they saw two men, later identified as the Vargases, entering random vehicles, according to the police report. The officers followed as the two men left the area in a car driven by a third man.

In southeast Rochester, the Vargas brothers fled the car they were in, but were recognized by police, the report says.


Further investigation at the parking lot revealed a 9-mm pistol was stolen from one of the vehicles that had been entered, said Capt. Brian Winters.

The Vargases were arrested later that day, according to the report. They told investigators they'd taken the handgun to Crum and traded it for drugs.

Both Vargases remain in jail in lieu of bond; Crum has been released.

All three are sentenced to appear in Olmsted County District Court the second week of April.

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