by NATHANIEL NELSON
Two Owatonna men face multiple felony charges for allegedly stealing multiple items across Winona on May 15, according to the Winona Police Department.
Michael John McClatchey, 44, of Owatonna, and William Robert Wheeler, 31, of Owatonna, were charged with theft of movable property, aiding and abetting the theft of movable property, receiving stolen property, and aiding and abetting receiving stolen property –– all felonies. McClatchey was additionally charged with driving after revocation, and Wheeler was charged with possession of burglary tools.
According to police, at 8:13 p.m. officers responded to a report from an employee at Winona Rental of an attempted theft of an eight-foot flatbed trailer. The employee had been driving by on Highway 61, and reportedly noticed a Dodge Durango backed up to the trailer and knew nobody had permission to take the trailer.
The driver fled the scene, but the employee reportedly took down a license plate number. He also reported a round, yellow 30-110-amp converter with a value of $20 stolen from his camper, which was parked next to the trailer.
Later that day, officers reportedly located the vehicle pulling a welder behind it on Highway 61. The welder had a sticker on it that indicated “Fuller and Hammer,” a local construction company. According to police, the welder had been parked at the former K-Mart lot, the owner of the welder said no one had permission to move the welder, and it had an estimated value of $7,445.
According to the report, Wheeler said the two bought the welder from a friend, but said they did not know the person’s last name or where they met up with them.
McClatchey reportedly told officers that the two had been looking at the camper at Winona Rental under the assumption that the trailer was for sale, and officers noted that there were no “for sale” signs located near the camper. When asked about the power converter, Wheeler reportedly reached into a duffel bag, pulled out the converter and gave it to the officer.
In a search of the vehicle and duffel bag, officers reportedly located a lock-picking set and a red-handled bolt cutter.