Tricounty News

Local accidents, crime blotter



Attempted car theft in Litchfield

Just before 6 p.m. Friday,

Jan. 14, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office was called to an attempted motor vehicle theft at Premier Auto, 61502 Hwy. 12 in Litchfield. Two woman had attempted to flee the scene but were stopped by the owner of Premier Auto and were escorted back to this address pending the arrival of law enforcement. The owner of Premier Auto had been working in his shop when he noticed one of his cars running in the lot. He noticed that there were people in the car and went to confront them when they took off running. After chasing them for a short distance on foot he was able to stop the two women identified as Stephanie Barbara Pederson, age 20, of Litchfield, and Cara Eleanor Cline, age 22, of Litchfield. Both parties were later arrested and are pending charges for attempted Motor Vehicle Theft.

It was learned that these two were dropped off by a third party who told them to "start the car" for her and that she would be back later to pick them up. The third party was identified as Heather Marie Pederson, age 23, of Litchfield, the sister of Stephanie Pederson. Heather Pederson was later arrested in Meeker County and is pending charges for Conspiracy to Commit Motor Vehicle Theft.

Klein pleads guilty to killing newlyweds in crash

Sarah Klein of Eden Valley pleaded guilty last week to vehicular homicide after hitting a Spicer couple on their motorcycle last July.

Klein's blood alcohol after the crash was.19. Jim and Amy Nelson, 50 and 43, of Spicer were on their motorcycle heading west on Hwy. 55 when Klein rear-ended them with her van. Both newlyweds were killed.

Klein has been out of jail since July 27, three days after the accident, after she posted bail. Her sentencing is scheduled for March 16. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Arrest for fleeing peace officer

Saturday, Jan. 15, at about

6:10 p.m., two Stearns County Deputies were patrolling the Rockville area on snowmobiles. They encountered a 1998 Toyota Tacoma on 230th Street, and noticed that the car was driven erratically and approached it on their snowmobiles. The Tacoma drove off and the deputies followed with their red lights. They activated the sirens and the car continued to drive away. The deputies pursued the car on the snowmobiles until other deputies arrived in squad cars and were able to stop the car on County Road 6 near Granite Ledge Road.

Deputies arrested Alan Benson, age 50 of St. Cloud, for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, suspicion of second-degree DWI, and open container. Benson also had an uncased air rifle in the car, and was charged with possession of uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

Benson is being held in Stearns County Jail. His car was impounded for possible forfeiture proceedings.

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Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Monday, Jan. 17

12:31 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm on MN Highway 55, Watkins. The deputy checked the property and found all to be okay.

On the 17th at 9:34 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to a request to put down a deer that had been hit by a train, near the crossing on County State Aid Highway 1, Litchfield.

6:12 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to a car/dog accident on MN Highway 22, Eden Valley. Upon arrival of the deputy, the dog's owner was identified and notified of the accident.

6:56 p.m. the Sheriff's Office took a report of a burglary of a fish house on Clear Lake, Watkins.

Sunday, Jan. 16

10:14 a.m. a Sheriff's Deputy came upon an abandoned stalled vehicle on 380th Street, Watkins. The vehicle was not a road hazard.

6:24 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received a report of a car/deer accident in the area of MN Highway 24/County State Aid Highway 34, Litchfield. The call was transferred to the MN State Patrol

6:48 p.m. the Sheriff's Office assisted the St Cloud Police Department with locating an individual at a residence on Hambroer Street, Eden Valley. The individual was located and the St Cloud Police Department was advised.

Saturday, Jan. 15

8:37 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm on Cedar Avenue, Watkins. A short time later the deputy was canceled due to it being a false alarm.

Friday, Jan. 14

3:56 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded along with the MN State Patrol to a property damage accident on MN Highway 15 and MN Highway 24, Kimball. No injuries were reported.

5:55 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to a report of an attempted theft of a vehicle on US Highway 12, Litchfield. The deputies responded and after investigation, arrested Cara Eleanor Cline, age 22, of Litchfield, and Stephanie Barbara Pederson, age 20, of Litchfield, for Motor Vehicle Theft. Also arrested was Heather Marie Pederson, age 23, of Litchfield, for Conspiracy to Commit Motor Vehicle Theft. (See story at left.)

6:51 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 hang up call transferred from Stearns County Sheriff's Office from a residence on 675th Avenue, Watkins. The deputy made contact with resident and found all to be okay.

Thursday, Jan. 13

9:45 a.m. the Sheriff's Office arrested Eric Roger Schlangen, age 31, of Eden Valley, in Union Grove Township, on a Meeker County warrant for a probation violation.

10:01 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm at a residence on 330th Street, Watkins. The deputy checked the residence and it was secure.

11:14 a.m. the Sheriff's Office took a report of a vulnerable adult at a business on Luella St., Watkins.

1:03 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the ditch on MN Highway 24 and County State Aid Highway 17, Watkins. The deputy located the owner of the vehicle and was advised that it broke and will be removed from the ditch.

7:56 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received a request for a deer possession tag near the intersection of County State Aid Highway 27 and 745th Avenue. Prior to the deputy's arrival, the party called back stating the deer was gone and an officer no longer needs to respond.

11:18 p.m. the Sheriff's Office dispatched Watkins Ambulance and Eden Valley Rescue for a medical at a residence on MN Highway 22, Eden Valley. One individual was transported to St Cloud Hospital.

Wednesday, Jan. 12

9:34 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm at a residence on 330th Street, Watkins. The deputy checked the area and it was secure.

1:12 p.m. the Sheriff's Office dispatched Watkins Ambulance for a medical at a business on Hazel Avenue, Kimball. One individual was transported to St. Cloud Hospital.

1:34 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm at a business on MN Highway 15, Kimball. The deputy checked the business and all was secure.

Tuesday, Jan. 11

11:52 a.m. the Sheriff's Office took a report of threats made at a residence on 330th Street, Watkins.

7:48 p.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to a civil matter at a residence on 367th Street, Kimball. The deputy advised the party of their options.

Monday, Jan. 10

3:18 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to an alarm on MN Highway 15, Kimball. The deputy checked the area and found all to be okay.

7:32 a.m. the Sheriff's Office responded to a property damage accident on 318th Street, South Haven. There were no injuries.