An arrest warrant has been requested for a 19-year-old North Mankato man accused of breaking into a relative’s garage and stealing a handgun back in February.

Mankato Police say a homeowner discovered his garage door had been kicked in and a 9 mm Ruger was missing from his vehicle. The victim told investigators he suspected Tyler Wetzel had stolen the gun.

Officers went to Wetzel’s most recent address, and a witness there told police that he had visited the home recently and was waving the firearm around with a bullet in the chamber and a full magazine in it.

The criminal complaint shows that the witness later turned the gun over to police.

In an interview, investigators say Wetzel admitted to taking the gun from the victim’s vehicle and said he needed it for protection.

Court record show Wetzel is currently on probation for running from police and had three pending criminal cases in Minnesota. He has previous convictions that include theft, running from police, and possession of synthetic marijuana.