Police say a man stole hundreds and possibly thousands of Minnetonka-based Cargill's out-of-service laptop computers while working for the agribusiness giant, and put them up for sale online.

Minnetonka police spelled out the allegations in a search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court. Details about the allegations were confirmed Thursday by a company spokeswoman.

The suspect is a 53-year-old man from Shakopee who worked for Cargill for more than 30 years at various locations, most recently as a dock supervisor, until he was fired. That's according to the affidavit, which was a request to a judge that police be allowed to search the man's eBay account.

Police say the man confessed to stealing "hundreds" of laptops for online resale, the affidavit read. Charges have yet to be filed against the man. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.

An online check on Thursday found laptops of various brands listed under the man's eBay account, at prices as high as $280.

Cargill spokeswoman April Nelson said the details in the affidavit are accurate, and she added that "the computers were inaccessible and clean of any data."

According to the court filing:

An "external party" alerted Cargill that an Apple laptop purchased on eBay was locked by the company and rendered inaccessible, and was directed to the seller's eBay account and address in Shakopee. Cargill traced the address to one of its employees.

Police checked the man's eBay account and found more than 3,000 prior listings and sales. Photos and descriptions confirmed to police that the listings included laptops from Cargill.

The affidavit explained that Cargill stores laptops it is no longer using at the dock. A recycling company picks them up and sells them for a profit. Cargill also gets "a large portion" of the sales.

"Cargill investigators interviewed [the man], and he admitted taking 'hundreds' of laptops and selling them on eBay," the affidavit read.