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Felony charge filed against man accused of illegal gas hookup

His initial court appearance was Monday.

Luke Sundahl
Sundahl

DOVRAY — A Murray County man has been charged with a felony-level criminal offense for allegedly stealing natural gas over the winter of 2020-2021.

Murray County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to a Dovray residence June 23 to assist in unhooking a gas line deemed dangerous. The line was noticed during a routine leak check.

A hose pressurized at 60 PSI (typical PSI for a home is two) reportedly extended out of the home. The hose was connected to the residence through the Northwest Gas line, and Northwest Gas employees noted that since there was no regulator visible on the outside of the building, someone must have set one up on the inside. This action constitutes a violation of pipeline safety regulations.

It was also noted that gas had been turned off to the home for several years. Law enforcement attempted to contact the homeowner, but were not successful. The last known person to live at the residence was Luke Sundahl, 40, and deputies were aware that Sundahl worked in the heating and cooling business and knew how to connect a gas line.

Police executed a search warrant to look for evidence of natural gas theft. Inside, they reportedly found a hose and regulator attached to a heater. Northwest Gas employees determined that between November 2020 and April 2021, Sundahl had used $1,205 worth of gas without paying for it.

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Also inside the residence, it was reported that the water heater had been disconnected from the meter that measured usage. The water service at the home is provided by the city of Dovray.

Officers had to get a second search warrant when they noticed a pipe believed to be used to ingest controlled substances. The drug warrant reportedly netted discovery of a marijuana pipe and a white/brown substance and glass pipe that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Sundahl was arrested and charged with the felony offense of theft, which carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. He also faces charges of gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession, misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

If convicted, Sundahl will be sentenced based on criminal history. His initial court appearance was Monday morning.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTSTHEFT
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