DNR theft case is closed with sentencing for receiving goods

  • Updated: February 8, 2012 - 8:45 PM

Three men were put on probation for five years.

A St. Paul man was sentenced to five years' probation in the theft of tools, equipment and animal mounts from a Department of Natural Resources building in January 2011.

Last week's sentencing of Terry K. Cotton, 38, brought an end to proceedings that saw three suspects eventually charged and convicted.

Authorities pieced together the case against the men after the thief, Timothy K. Heidenreich, 40, was nabbed stealing a tomato from the cafeteria in the Washington County Government Center. Heidenreich then called Cotton to tell him to sell power tools and computers stored in a van near his house.

"It's like Christmas in there," Heidenreich allegedly told Cotton in a call monitored at the Washington County jail.

An informant also told police about that time that Heidenreich had broken into a DNR building at 1200 Warner Road and had stolen deer heads and tools.

Authorities estimated the total value of the stolen items at $40,000. Most of the equipment was recovered at a house on St. Paul's East Side, authorities say.

Cotton and Shane J. Rylander, 41, also of St. Paul, both pleaded guilty to receiving-stolen-property charges. Rylander, like Cotton, was put on probation for five years.

Heidenreich was sentenced last April to 70 days in jail, but received credit for 70 days he had already served. He also was put on probation for five years.


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