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Stuck vehicle leads to arrests in Watson burglary

Two people accused of spending about three hours inside a business they were burglarizing are in custody today.

In an investigation described as "excellent police work and a lot of luck," the pair were arrested hours after the incident and face felony charges of third-degree burglary.

The investigation began with a report Saturday morning from employees at Watson Recycling, on 81st Street Northwest in Oronoco.

Sometime overnight, burglars had taken several tools, including plasma cutters, and scrap metal, the report says.

The luck began when the initial call came in, said Sgt. Tom Claymon of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.


A Rochester police officer was with a towing company owner when the report was broadcast; the owner said he'd received a call for a tow at the site about 3:30 that morning — someone said his U-haul trailer was stuck there.

The caller said he'd be unable to pay for the tow. The owner declined to help, he told the officer, but he still had the number the call was made from.

The police officer contacted the sheriff's office, which in turn contacted U-haul to see if any rentals had been made in the area using the same phone number.

A trailer had been rented in Lake City using the number, the report says, and included the name of the person renting it.

A traffic stop was eventually made in Wabasha County. The two people with the vehicle allegedly admitted to the burglary at Watson Recycling, Claymon said.

The majority of the stolen items were recovered, the report says; the investigation into other similar burglaries will continue. Several other people are allegedly involved in the thefts, Claymon said.

The Post-Bulletin typically doesn't identify suspects until they've been charged.

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