A Faribault man police accused last fall of a string of local burglaries is now facing charges in five additional break-ins.
Austin Steven Veal, 29, was charged in late October with first-degree damage to property, third-degree burglary and fifth-degree possession of controlled substance in connection to an Oct. 12 break-in at the Dairy Queen located on Hwy. 60 west of Interstate 35. At the time, Faribault police said they believe Veal was responsible for more than a dozen burglaries. But it wasn’t until last week that Veal was charged in five additional cases, all alleged to have taken place between Sept. 13 and Oct. 22, 2019.
Veal is alleged to have broken into Taco John’s, the Rice County Fairgrounds Office, the city ice arena, an insurance office and the Dairy Queen on Lyndale Avenue. In each case, authorities say that they discovered shoe prints matching shoes owned by Veal and located evidence tying Veal to the break-ins during an Oct. 24 search of his home.
In an interview with police, Veal allegedly admitted to being at the fairgrounds to “use drugs and get high.”
In all, Veal is alleged to have stolen nearly $6,200 in cash, two safes, credit cards and a Kindle tablet.
Last week, the County Attorney’s Office filed three cases charging Veal with a total of six felonies, including four counts of burglary. He was also charged with a gross misdemeanor, receiving stolen property. On Monday, he was charged in two additional cases, adding two counts of felony burglary and a second count of gross misdemeanor receiving stolen property to his list of alleged crimes.
Two cases filed in 2019, including the October Dairy Queen break-in and a felony theft case from Oct. 25 are still moving through the courts.
Veal has a lengthy criminal record. It includes six felony convictions dating back to 2009: criminal vehicular operation, criminal sexual conduct, drug possession and burglary. In June 2013, he was sentenced to 45 months in prison for criminal sexual conduct. At the same time, he was sentenced in four other cases, all which ran concurrently. At the same time, Judge John Cajacob ordered Veal to serve 10 years of supervised release following his release from prison.
Veal was on supervised release in Rice County since May 2015, according to Minnesota Department of Corrections records, until his Oct. 21, 2019 arrest.
He remains in the Rice County Jail under $50,000 bail with conditions or $25,000 bail with conditions.