Kruger appears in theft case
WORTHINGTON -- Aaron Paul Kruger, 33, Slayton, made his initial appearance in Nobles County District Court to face three felony counts of taking/driving a motor vehicle without the owner's consent and one felony count of possession of stolen prop...
WORTHINGTON - Aaron Paul Kruger, 33, Slayton, made his initial appearance in Nobles County District Court to face three felony counts of taking/driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and one felony count of possession of stolen property.
According to court documents, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a motor vehicle theft last June in Lismore. The owner of the GMC pickup truck told the responding deputy his truck was missing, but that he’d discovered a car in the ditch about a quarter mile to the east of his driveway.
A search of the vehicle revealed several items of mail and letters for Kruger along with letters for a woman later identified as Kruger’s girlfriend, who owned the vehicle. The woman had reported the vehicle stolen by Kruger to the Slayton Police Department. She indicated Kruger had taken the vehicle following an argument without her permission.
Kruger was arrested in Sioux Falls, S.D., for possession of the stolen pickup and was later released from custody on his own recognizance.
During an interview while he was detained, Kruger claimed he had worked for the owner of the truck who gave him and his friend a ride after the friend got her car stuck in a ditch.
When the owner of the truck retrieved his vehicle in Sioux Falls, he informed officers he was missing 28 checks from his checkbook and between $200 and $400 in cash he had left in the vehicle. The sheriff’s department received information that 23 checks were written on the victim’s checking account - all to Sioux Falls businesses totaling $1,475.81.
More than a month later, Kruger was interviewed by an agent of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force and Slayton Police Department. Kruger claimed his girlfriend gave him permission to use her car and that he had driven it into the ditch. He also claimed his girlfriend did not want to press charges against him for taking the vehicle since she’d given him permission to take it. Kruger also said the claim he made about working for the owner of the truck to Sioux Falls officers was false, and denied knowledge of what had happened to the cash or checks missing from the truck.
Kruger is scheduled to make his next court appearance in early February for a contested omnibus hearing. If convicted, each felony charge carries a maximum sentence of no more than five years in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000 or both.
Kruger is also charged with a misdemeanor count of possessing stolen property and a misdemeanor count of theft of property. The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.