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Five charged for alleged burglary

Five people were charged in Wadena County District Court with burglarizing a Verndale business and stealing cash from a bank bag inside.

The five are accused of an Aug. 3 burglary at Verndale Tire and storage.

The case began when a highway worker spotted a bank bag while he was grading roads in the Verndale area. Inside were partially burned checks and credit card receipts. About $800-$900 was missing from the bag, according to the business.

Police followed clues which led them to 18-year-old Ariel Jean Stoecker, 19-year-old Matthew Paul Landwehr, 19-year-old Antonio Todd, 19-year-old Nickolas Johnston and 20-year-old Christopher Torkkola, court documents said. Police also questioned a juvenile they did not name in reports.

According to court records, the defendants were hanging around and wanted to do "something," which allegedly turned into a burglary of the business. With the cash, police said, the group went on a shopping spree to Brainerd and to Bloomington's Mall of America, where they bought shoes, earrings, music and hats.

Landwehr, Johnston and Todd were charged with third-degree burglary. Stoecker and Torkkola were charged with aiding and abetting third-degree burglary.