A Waseca man who allegedly stole a vehicle from an acquaintance and stole $1,000 worth of products from an Owatonna retailer has been charged in Steele County court, according to court records.

Kenyetta Elwoods, 53, is facing one count of felony theft and one count of fifth-degree drug possession, a gross misdemeanor, for an incident that took place in Owatonna on Monday. Elwoods is also facing one count of felony theft with indifference to owner rights in a separate case.

According to the criminal complaint, the Owatonna Police Department was dispatched to an Owatonna business on Monday for the report of active shoplifting activity. A loss prevention employee with the store told officers she observed a man, later identified as Elwoods, conceal a DVD player inside a backpack he had in his shopping cart. The employee also said she watched Elwoods select a large amount of cologne and perfume before going into the bathroom, where the empty perfume containers and other product cases were later found. The employee said she watched Elwoods cut through empty register lines toward the front of the store and walk out past the point of no sale doors, according to the report.

Officers observed Elwoods leaving the store with a shopping cart and arrested him. While searching his person, officers located a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine and other stolen items in Elwoods’ pockets, according to court records.

The initial estimate of the items stolen totaled $1,045. The pipe found on Elwoods’ person field tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

After Elwoods was transported to the Steele County Detention Center, the Owatonna Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle with the reporting party claiming Elwoods was the suspect.

According to the criminal complaint, an acquaintance of Elwoods allowed him to borrow their vehicle on Sunday to run errands with the agreement the vehicle would be returned in a couple of hours. The victim said they eventually lost communication with Elwoods after the agreed timeframe had passed.

When Elwoods was arrested on Monday, officers located a single key on his person that belonged to a vehicle matching the description of the one reported stolen. The key unlocked and started the victim’s vehicle, according to the report.

Elwoods is currently in custody at the Steele County Detention Center and bail without conditions has been set at $20,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 1.

Elwoods also has pending charges for a case in Steele County that stems from an August incident. In that case, Elwoods has been charged with two counts of felony first-degree burglary as well as three misdemeanor charges for assault, damage to property and violating an order for protection.

Elwoods’ criminal history includes a 1986 conviction for burglary and two convictions for aggravated robbery.

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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