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Man Charged With Stealing Freon From Neighbors

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(credit: Dakota County Jail)

(credit: Dakota County Jail)

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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — A 36-year-old Apple Valley man is accused of stealing nearly $2,000 worth of Freon from his neighbors’ air conditioners, according to charges filed Wednesday in Dakota County Court.

Brentyn Edwin Krueger was charged with one felony count of theft in connection with the incidents.

According to a criminal complaint, the thefts occurred at severalApple Valleyhomes from Oct. 20, 2010 to Nov. 20, 2010.

Krueger was found passed out in neighbor Deb Baker’s yard last fall.

“He was probably passed out here a lot because we had to completely recharge our air conditioning unit with Freon,” Baker said. “I had no idea that people huffed.  I didn’t even know what huffing was.”

At about 1:05 a.m. on Nov. 7, Apple Valley Police responded to a report of a trespasser on a property near 129th Street West andFloral Avenue. When authorities arrived, they found a man later identified as Krueger slumped over an air conditioning unit with his torso lodged between the unit and the house with his head facing down behind the unit, the complaint states.

After being woken up, Krueger told police he had been inhaling Freon from the air conditioning unit.

At about 8:45 the next night, Krueger again was at a neighbor’s residence inhaling Freon from an air conditioning unit. He then became confused and walked into the neighbor’s house when he thought police were on the way, according to the complaint.

After another incident, Krueger told police he had been huffing Freon from the air conditioning units of four of his neighbors. The overall loss to a total of five victims was more than $1,700.

Krueger faces up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted on the charge.

“Collectively, in our neighborhood we all feel very sad. We’re a great neighborhood, and everybody cares for everybody,” Baker said.

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