WORTHINGTON — Charges were filed this week against a Worthington woman accused of burglarizing the home of a man with whom she told officers she was friends and didn't believe to be robbing.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Nobles County District Court, a man noticed that more than $250 had disappeared from his home. He installed cameras, which captured footage of Sarah B. Mentele, 40, rummaging through the man's home on various days in July. The footage allegedly depicts Mentele gathering various household items and money.
According to the complaint, the man was home once when Mentele let herself inside. She was described as in a rush. It isn't clear whether the two interacted during the reported uninvited visit.
During an interview with law enforcement, Mentele admitted that the surveillance footage would depict her at the man's house. She claimed to have told the victim she was going to take the money left on the counter. She also admitted to taking meat and food from him, adding that she thought the two were friends and she didn't believe she was robbing him.
According to the complaint, she initially denied taking money. She later told an officer that the man she took money from told her that if she takes anything, to pay her back.
Additionally, the officer allegedly witnessed Mentele pull a man's wallet that appeared to have a large amount of cash from the center console of a truck. The complaint alleges that $600 was also discovered in Mentele's wallet, which she admitted was someone else's, but that she was given permission to use it if needed. Her wallet also contained blank checks belonging to someone else.
The officer made contact with the truck's owner, who confirmed Mentele was allowed to use it and money for gas if needed. He said he had been searching for his checkbook earlier that day. Mentele allegedly wrote two checks without permission from the man's checking account for a total of $191.98.
Mentele faces first and second-degrees burglary and theft, all felonies. If convicted of the most serious offense — first-degree burglary — she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a $35,000 fine or both. A first-degree burglary conviction carries a minimum six months jail sentence.
Her unconditional bail was scheduled at $5,000.