MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two men have been charged with theft for allegedly stealing pieces of marble and granite that totaled over $15,000.
David Estrada Soto, 31, and Kenneth Charles Nelson, 56, have each been charged with one felony count of theft.
According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a call from a business reporting a theft on Monday, June 23 in the city of West St. Paul, Minn.
Upon arrival, police spoke with the owner of the store who said they noticed slabs of marble and/or granite missing from their lot and believed they had been taken over the weekend.
Police said a witness told them she saw four males loading marble and granite onto a white truck on Friday, June 20.
The witness said the driver of the truck was an older white male, and the other three men were younger and appeared to be Hispanic. One of the younger men is described as being 25 – 30 years of age, and he is tall and skinny with shoulder-length hair.
The witness saw that younger man with a female loading marble and granite into a blue minivan on June 22.
The owner of the business said the description of the younger man matched that of one of their former employees, Soto.
Upon investigation, police found that the white truck was registered to Nelson.
Police were called back to the same store for another report of theft around 7:28 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24.
Upon arrival, police found two men behind the business, standing next to a truck full of marble and granite.
The two men were identified as Soto and Nelson.
When questioned by police, Soto claimed he was at the business to collect money that was owed to him by the store owner, but when police asked the owner they said Soto had no business removing granite from the premises.
Police spoke with the witness who verified that Soto and Nelson were the men she had seen.
After verifying the eye witness, officers executed a search warrant of Nelson’s home on Wednesday, June 25.
During the search, they found roughly 14 slabs of granite and marble, totally over $15,000.
If found guilty, Soto and Nelson face up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both.