A Good Thunder man accused of stealing equipment from a workman’s vehicles is facing theft And a list of other charges, after Blue Earth County Sheriff’s investigators say batteries were stolen from heavy equipment at a Pleasant Mound gravel pit.
The victim told police that his eight-man crew was idled for the day when an excavator and a bulldozer were stripped of the batteries sometime Sunday night into Monday.
Deputies learned from 4X4 Truck and Auto Parts in Winnebago that the business had purchased batteries matching the description of the stolen ones earlier that day, and identified the seller as 27-year-old Zachary Ertman.
Later that afternoon, the victim contacted investigators and stated that more items were discovered stolen from the site property – with a total of more than $2,300.
Mapleton Police later pulled Ertman and his brother, whom the criminal complaint states is also a suspect in the theft, over for a traffic violation – during which he admitted to stealing scrap that morning. He was arrested, his pickup was towed, and in a search found a loaded .22, loose ammunition throughout the cab, a baggie of a substance that tested positive for meth, and boots that matched footprints left at the crime scene.
Ertman has several prior felony convictions and state law bars him from possessing weapons; he is facing two felon in possession of a gun or ammunition charges, theft, drug possession, and criminal property damage.