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Coon Rapids man pleads guilty to Walmart theft


A Coon Rapids man pleaded guilty to stealing merchandise from the Worthington Walmart after tampering with the fire alarm on the retail store’s emergency exit.

Andrew Cocherell, 39, pleaded guilty to felony theft, fourth-degree intentional damage to property and tampering with a fire alarm system, both misdemeanors.

During Wednesday’s plea hearing in Nobles County District Court, Cocherell said he entered the Worthington Walmart in April 2017, “walked around with a shopping cart and started filling it up.” Cocherell also admitted exiting the store with the stolen merchandise through an emergency exit after disabling the fire alarm.

“There’s a simple battery and I just pulled it out,” Cocherell said in court.

The charges stem from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office receiving correspondence that stolen items from Walmarts in Worthington and Spirit Lake, Iowa were discovered in Cocherell’s vehicle and recovered in Renville County.

According to the criminal complaint, Cocherell stole items ranging from electronics, fishing supplies, a vacuum and other items of lesser value. The value of items stolen totaled $1,834.36.  

Fifth Judicial District Judge Terry Vajgrt deferred acceptance of the guilty pleas pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

He was released on his own recognizance in order to attend to other criminal files outstanding in other counties.

If convicted of felony theft, Cocherell faces a maximum of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.