A man living in Evansville, Minn., will finally face charges in connection with cabin burglaries in Dairyland in 2018.
Jeffrey Michael Lepinski, 35, faces three counts of felony burglary, one of which includes arming himself with a dangerous weapon, operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent and two felony charges of receiving stolen property.
An arrest warrant was issued July 17, 2018, by Douglas County Court Commissioner Rebecca Lovejoy when Lepinski failed to make an initial court appearance. According to online court records, Lepinski turned himself voluntarily and appeared in Douglas County Circuit Court on Oct. 3.
According to the criminal complaint, Lepinski was living on land owned by family in Dairyland. The owners of three neighboring properties reported their cabins were burglarized in June. In each case, a window had been smashed and items taken, including two TVs, an ATV, a rifle, DVDs, alcohol and household items like a laundry basket.
Another neighbor reported seeing Lepinski acting suspiciously in the area, walking down County Road T and "casing" places. Her father reported seeing Lepinski driving a green ATV he hadn't seen before and unloading a rifle from its trailer.
Det. Brad Hoyt executed a search warrant at Lepinski's residence July 1. He found many of the items that had been reported stolen, as well as a camper trailer that had been reported stolen out of Moose Lake, Minn., and a utility trailer reported stolen from Burnett County. The trailer appeared to be occupied, and a casino players club card with Lepinski's name on it was found with men's clothing in the closet.
The most serious charge, burglary arming self with a dangerous weapon, carries a maximum penalty of 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.
According to online court records, Lepinski made an additional court appearance Friday, Nov. 1, when his petition for a court-appointed attorney was denied. An initial appearance is scheduled for Dec. 2, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.