A Waseca man who allegedly ditched stolen items in the middle of the road has been formally charged in Waseca County Court.

Anthony Michael Kuster, 34, has been charged with one felony count of theft in relation to an incident that happened May 20 in Waseca.

According to the criminal complaint, the Waseca County Sheriff’s Office received a report on the night of May 20 that two males had unloaded a trailer and a Bobcat skid steer in the middle of 163rd Street in rural Waseca and then took off in their vehicle. A deputy located the Bobcat and the trailer about 200 yards apart on the road with no one around.

The deputy was able to locate the owner from the VIN on the trailer. The owner, who lives in Waseca, said he was unaware the items had been stolen and that the theft had to have occurred that evening. The deputy noted that a lock on the trailer hitch had been broken. The owner said the Bobcat is worth an estimated $40,000 and the trailer around $10,000.

According to court documents, the damages sustained to the trailer due to the incident includes damage to the break away switch, the brakes, the tires and the jack that holds the trailer up when not attached to the vehicle.

On May 21, the Waseca police were contacted by someone who had surveillance footage from a business in the area of the theft as it took place. The detective who observed the footage immediately recognized the suspect vehicle as belonging to Kuster, according to the report. The video showed a white SUV pull into the property where the Bobcat and trailer were located and leave at 7:35 p.m. May 20 pulling the trailer with the Bobcat.

On May 27, police spoke with a witness who said they saw Kuster and another man pulling out of the driveway on the night in question pulling the trailer when it came off the hitch. The witness said the vehicle dragged the unit around the corner before stopping. The witness said they offered to help but Kuster and the other man declined. The witness also told police that there should be damage to the rear bumper of the vehicle from when the trailer came off the hitch.

On May 30, police spoke with another witness to the event who stated they also saw the vehicle pulling the trailer while it was dragging. Police also went to look at Kuster’s vehicle and noticed recent damage to the driver’s side rear bumper, according to court documents.

Kuster has a sordid criminal record with felony convictions dating back to 2004, including a 2013 conviction in Waseca County for felony theft.

Kuster has a settlement conference scheduled for June 24.

Reach Reporter Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @AnnieGranlund. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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