George Alan VanZee, 46, Newport, was charged Aug. 26, in the Morrison County District Court, with one felony count each of second degree burglary, possessing tools to enter a building illegally, and third degree burglary, stealing while in a building that was entered illegally.
A Morrison County sheriff’s deputy responded Oct. 16, 2012, to a report of a burglary at a business in Swanville. The deputy found both the exterior and interior glass doors were broken and several thousand dollars was missing.
Video surveillance showed at 4:49 a.m., a male subject entered the building carrying a crowbar. The tool was allegedly used to pry open the drawers from pull tab boxes and the money removed. The man left the building at 4:53 a.m.
According to the criminal complaint, the same man returned at 5:32 a.m. and stole more money, leaving at 5:58 a.m.
The owner of the business again called the Sheriff’s Office to report a number of items from the burglary had been located at a neighboring business. Those items included cash drawers and many checks written to the business. Also located were two wire baskets and a pair of gloves which looked like the gloves worn by the suspect on the surveillance video.
The gloves were sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for analysis of any DNA evidence.
On April 26, the DNA results came back and according to the BCA, the results matched a profile for VanZee.
A review of VanZee’s criminal history showed he has multiple convictions for burglary. It also showed he is currently incarcerated in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.
A deputy went to the St. Cloud facility and took a DNA sample from VanZee, who allegedly refused to speak with him. The deputy was able to note that VanZee’s build was similar in appearance to the person on the video surveillance.
If convicted, VanZee faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.