Stolen items from a Waseca business were recovered last month during a two-vehicle crash in Rice County, resulting in new burglary and theft charges for one driver.

Miguel Angel Carreon Balderas, 27, of Owatonna was formally charged Thursday in Waseca County Court with one count of third degree burglary and one count of theft of property with the total value over $1,000, both felonies. The charges stem to a burglary reported at a Waseca business on Dec. 9.

On Monday, Carreon Balderas received additional charges of two felony counts of theft for allegedly taking a shotgun and other items from a vehicle in Woodville Township in early December. He is also being charged in that case with two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of theft of property less than $500, all misdemeanors.

According to the criminal complaint, the Waseca Police Department was dispatched on Dec. 9 to a local business for a report of a burglary. The owners of the business informed officers that several tools and employee pay stubs were missing from the building. Officers observed opened cabinets and drawers, documents on the floor and grass that had been disturbed by footprints and tire tracks around the building. Officers located some documents with a partial shoe print and took them into evidence, according to the report.

One owner said the south door of the business was cracked open in the morning but everything had been locked the night prior. The police report states officers were unable to find any damage to the door or doorknob and the estimated time of the break-in was between 7 p.m. Dec. 8 to 8 a.m. Dec. 9.

The owners estimated the total value of the stolen tools at $2,500.

Later that day, the Waseca Police Department was informed by the Rice County Sheriff’s Office that a male suspect, later identified as Carreon Balderas, was in a motor vehicle crash in Rice County earlier that morning. Law enforcement located a large amount of stolen property inside Carreon Balderas’ vehicle, including documents and tools from the Waseca business, according to court documents. Other items reported stolen by another Waseca resident and another Waseca business were also recovered from the vehicle, including a firearm and mail.

According to the report, the Waseca County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to Woodville Township on Dec. 9 on a report of theft from a motor vehicle. At the scene, the reporting party showed the deputies a vehicle in a business parking lot with all the doors open. The reporting party said the owner of the vehicle was out of town. When deputies spoke with the vehicle owner, he said he believed a shotgun from prior hunting events had been left in his vehicles. 

Court records show the vehicle owner estimated a total of $2,780 worth of property had been taken. The property, including the shotgun, were recovered from Carreon Balderas' vehicle during a search warrant. 

A second individual whose vehicle was stolen from in the same parking lot spoke with investigators, stating payroll stubs and checks were stolen from the center console. Documents belonging to this individual were located in Carreon Balderas' vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

Court documents state Carreon Balderas told officers he had used either methamphetamine and heroin prior to the crash. The crash seriously injured the driver of the second vehicle, 37-year-old Felipe Israel Ramirez Sol, who was airlifted to a metro area trauma center after he sustained broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Carreon Balderas is currently in custody at the Rice County Jail for charges of receiving stolen property, criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm, firearm possession by a convicted felon, two counts of felony third-degree burglary, fifth-degree gross misdemeanor drug possession and misdemeanor DWI. The charges are separated in two case files.

Days before the crash, Steele County Judge Joseph Bueltel sentenced Carreon Balderas to 27 days in jail, which he already served, and five years supervised probation on a charge of second-degree burglary. Carreon Balderas was initially charged with two additional counts of felony burglary, but those were dismissed in exchange for an October guilty plea.

Carreon Balderas was also convicted of felony mail theft in Blue Earth County in April. There he was sentenced to 27 days in jail and ordered to serve with Sentence to Service, a work program that serves as an alternative to jail and/or probation.

Because he is currently in custody in Rice County, the Waseca County Court issued a warrant for Carreon Balderas. His next court appearance in Rice County is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Reach Reporter Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @OPPAnnie. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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