Blaine man pleads guilty to felonies

A man charged with eight felonies in Anoka County District Court in connection with multiple burglaries that took place over a period of several weeks on adjoining properties on the 8700 block of East River Road, Coon Rapids, has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to two of them.

Chase Alan Zopfi, 18, Blaine, entered guilty pleas Sept. 23, his scheduled trial date, to one third-degree burglary charge and one attempted third-degree burglary count and will be sentenced Nov. 4, at which time four other third-degree burglary and two attempted burglary in the third degree charges will be dismissed.

Co-defendant Kyle Anthony Rauch, 21, East Bethel, was given five years of probation at sentencing in late August after pleading guilty as charged to one third-degree burglary count. Rauch was given credit for 33 days spent in jail, but he was fined $215 and must make restitution totaling $1,863.75.

While on patrol in the area of the 8700 block of East River Road Jan. 5, a Coon Rapids Police officer spotted a 2000 Ford Contour leaving the area where several burglaries had taken place over the previous weeks and initiated a traffic stop because the license plate light was out on the vehicle.

The driver was identified as Zopfi and aware that he was a suspect in several burglaries on properties in the area, the officer noted several orange extension cords, a yellow halogen work light and a black brief case in the back seat, according to the complaint.

A woman, 19, was the front seat passenger and Rauch was in the back seat. The officer released the occupants and the vehicle with a fix it ticket.

A short time later, the officer contacted the homeowner on the 8700 block of East River Road, who responded and reported that a burglary had taken place.

The detached garage had been broken into and items he described as missing matched those the officer had seen in the Ford Contour during the traffic stop – orange extension cords, a yellow halogen work light, a generator, a pop rivet gun, a drill and an older black briefcase.

The roll-up garage door had been forced open and the spring and mechanism mounted on the ceiling were broken.

The homeowner suspected Zopfi because he was a former tenant who had been captured on video surveillance around the building.

Police went to Zopfi’s home in Blaine, located the car in the driveway and saw the stolen items were still in the vehicle in plain view.

Zopfi, Rauch and the woman were taken into custody. She has not been charged.

According to the complaint, there had been several break-ins and attempted burglaries at adjoining properties that the victim owns on the 8700 block of East River Road since early December 2012 – one on Dec. 9, two on Dec. 21, one on Dec. 29 and two on Jan. 4.

In a post-Miranda statement, the woman stated she had waited in the vehicle in the area of the 8700 block of East River Road Jan. 5 while Zopfi and Rauch went to get some things, although she knew they were going to steal them and when they returned, they were carrying items which they placed in the car.

Rauch, in his post-Miranda interview, said he had been walking in the area where the burglary took place.

In his post-Miranda interview, Zopfi admitted he used to live at the address and he had gone into an unsecured garage on the property as well as attempting to force entry into another garage on numerous occasions.

He also admitted trying to force doors open, breaking or removing security lights and shooting at security lights with a BB gun in an effort to get into the garage.

The night of Jan. 5, Zopfi said that he and Rauch went up to the garage and he forced open the overhead garage door looking for items of value to take.

Zopfi admitted taking wire, a generator, work lamp and briefcase from inside the garage which Rauch helped him carry to the car.

Peter Bodley is at
peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

 

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