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Three juveniles and an adult charged in burglary

Sonny Syhavong

WORTHINGTON -- Four people charged with burglary were brought under suspicion by an observant teen and a Wii Mii -- a profile created and stored on a Nintendo Wii for an individual player.

Three juveniles and an adult are accused of burglarizing a home and stealing the Nintendo and some cash.

The complaint states a man clearing snow for a family who was out of town noticed Sunday afternoon a basement door of the home had been broken. He entered the residence, noticed a Nintendo Wii was missing and contacted authorities. He said he did not notice shoe prints or melted snow inside the house.

A Worthington police officer investigated and found glass from a south side basement door was broken out. Fragments of broken glass were found both inside and outside the door. There was an exterior light lying on the steps that led to the door. The fixture had been broken off its mounting spot near the top of the door.

Inside, the officer saw a television stand with cords hanging out in the basement living room. A white plastic housing laying next to the cords on the floor was empty, but had previously housed the Nintendo. As he walked through the house, the officer also noted a jewelry box laying on a bed in an upstairs bedroom.

The officer called the homeowner, who said his daughter had just received a call from a friend. The friend said he had been at another juvenile's home and saw a Wii that had not been there before. He noticed a Wii Mii profile character on the game and recalled the same character from the girl's Nintendo.

Officers went to the home the friend had mentioned and were let in by an adult, who granted the officers permission to go downstairs and speak to his son, DK. Through an open bedroom door, the officers noticed a Nintendo Wii with several accessories in plain sight. Inside the room were three juveniles, DK, MN and AP, and a 19-year-old male, Sonny Syhavong. The officer asked the four males about the Nintendo, but no one claimed ownership and all denied knowing anything about the game system.

All four were transported to the law enforcement center. With parental consent, all three juveniles waived their rights and agreed to give statements. The three gave similar accounts of what had transpired, and after initially denying breaking into the house, all three admitted they and Syhavong had entered the home.

They said they had been playing cards at Syhavong's house early in the evening, then broke into the house, stopped at DK's residence, then went to Perkins around 6 a.m.

DK allegedly said he drove and participated in the burglary. He said AP broke the window and they all went inside, where he took $30 in cash and a $5 silver coin. He returned the money to the officer.

AP told the officer Syhavong had grabbed the Wii and handed it to him, so he handed it to MN. He allegedly admitted he grabbed a Wii remote and stuck it in his pocket. He said a glass bottle of coins had been taken and brought back to DK's house.

MN said he did not know anything about the money, coins or jewelry that had been stolen, but he admitted he had broken the window after Syhavong had tried to do so and failed. MN and AP both reported it had been Syhavong's idea to break into the house, as he had lost a bunch of money gambling recently and wanted to get some back.

Syhavong allegedly told officers the four had started out playing cards at his house, had gone to another location to play at approximately 12:30 a.m., and at 2 a.m. he had given his cousin a ride. The four went to DK's house, he said, where he fell asleep until someone woke him up around 7 a.m. to go to Perkins. He denied knowing anything about a burglary or a stolen Wii.

A witness came forward and said he saw the four males park a car and walk to the house in question around 2:30 a.m. He said he saw four of them come out of the house a short time later and noticed MN carrying the Wii.

Syhavong, 19, is charged in Nobles County District Court with second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, aiding and abetting fourth-degree criminal damage to property and aid and abetting theft under $500. Three juveniles are facing charges of second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.

Bail for Syhavong was set at $10,000 with conditions of no contact with the victims or the juvenile co-defendants. Two of the juveniles, who are over 16 and charged with felonies, which make their records public, are under house arrest and are to have no contact with their co-defendants.

Syhavong has juvenile adjudication for fifth-degree assault and a previous conviction for violation of a restraining order, for which he served 15 months. He was placed on probation until his 21st birthday when the case was adjudicated as a juvenile file, but he later opted to change the case to adult file after turning 18. He pleaded guilty in May to fleeing a peace officer and a receiving stolen property charge was vacated. Sentencing for those files is scheduled for Jan. 12. He was charged in June with robbery, theft and assault, but a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty on all three charges in October.