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Plea entered in drug, property theft case

Robert Radtke

A 28-year-old Evansville man pleaded not guilty to three felony charges — possessing stolen property, damaging property and possessing methamphetamine.

Robert Paul Radtke also pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors charges — tampering with a motor vehicle and another stolen property charge.

Radtke, whose address was initially listed as Osakis but later updated to Evansville, entered the pleas in Douglas County District Court on Oct. 12. A jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 13.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Aug. 11, Osakis police invested a report of a burglary at Andrew Herickoff's auto repair shop, Andy's Customs LLC. A total of $5,000 in cash and a Beretta pistol with a loaded magazine were stolen. Five days later, another burglary was reported at the business. Several vehicles had been gone through.

After seeing a shirt from one of the trucks across the road in a ditch, Police Chief Chad Gulbranson scanned the area outside the building and saw a man, later identified as Radtke, sitting at a picnic table with several items on it.

Gulbranson approached Radke, who immediately began stuffing items into his shirt, according to the complaint. Several of the construction items that were reported stolen, such as caution tape and a safety vest belonging to Precision Roadway Services, were clearly visible poking out of Radke's shirt, the complaint said.

Radtke was placed under arrest and searched. Inside of his pockets were checkbooks, gas cards, and insurance papers from Precision Roadway Services. Gulbranson also found a small container with a plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance. The substance tested positive as methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

After investigating further, Gulbranson talked to witnesses who said they saw Radke with the stolen pistol.

At that time, Radtke denied taking cash or the firearm, but did admit to turning off the power at the Dollar General in Osakis, which caused the store to lose everything in the coolers, a loss in excess of $1,000, according to the complaint.

Radtke's criminal history includes two prior felonies — fifth-degree controlled substance possession convictions from Todd County.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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