MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 19-year-old Lakeville man is accused of breaking into Buck Hill in Burnsville and stealing nearly $1,000 of equipment, according to charges filed in Dakota County Court.

Branden Michael Penz is charged with third-degree burglary in connection with the May 1 incident.

Burnsville police were called on May 1 to a report of a burglary at Buck Hill. Employees found a wallet on the ground that was suspected to be left behind by one of the suspects, identified as Penz.

The complaint states snowboards, skis and other equipment totaling &970 was stolen from the facility. Penz spoke with police, was shown surveillance photos and denied being either of the suspects pictured. He said he was at Buck Hill, heard the breaking glass and ran to his vehicle parked nearby.

The stolen equipment was loaded into his truck, and one of the suspects was identified as his friend, Benjamin Robert Speece. Penz denied he ever entered the building, but admitted he knew the people he was with were burglarizing Buck Hill and that the equipment put in his truck was stolen.

The complaint states Speece spoke with police and admitted to the burglary, and said the stolen items were at his residence. Authorities executed a search warrant, and found the items.

Penz faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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