Teens charged in rural burglary
Two rural New Richmond teens are facing felony burglary charges in connection with a property damage investigation at a farm in the Town of Erin Prairie. Investigators are attempting to tie the two men to multiple other similar burglaries in the area.
Andrew William Ennis, 18, and Zachary Jay Simpson, 18, have each been charged in St. Croix County Circuit Court with a felony count of burglary of a building or dwelling, and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal damage to property.
According to the criminal complaint, a St. Croix County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a farm along County Road T in the Town of Erin Prairie on the afternoon of Friday, May 23, for a property damage complaint. The property owner told the deputy that someone had broken into his locked barn and slashed all four tires on his tractor sometime between May 20 and May 23. The property owner didn’t notice any other damage or anything missing at the time, but on May 27 the deputy found items that belonged to the property owner.
While investigating a burglary in the Town of Cylon on May 27, the deputy along a St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office investigator questioned Simpson, who admitted to committing multiple burglaries, according to the criminal complaint. After searching Simpson’s vehicle, the deputy found several plastic totes containing baseball cards and a metal storage box containing nuts and bolts. The name of the tractor owner appeared on one of the totes.
The following day, Simpson admitted to breaking into the Erin Prairie barn along with Ennis, according to the complaint. Simpson told investigators that Ennis kicked in the barn door took tools, a drill and baseball cards before slashing all four tractor tires, “because he thought it would be funny.”
Upon a search of Ennis’ vehicle, the deputy found an 18-inch-long box of baseball cards that Ennis admitted to stealing from the Erin Prairie barn.
Simpson also told investigators that Ennis had committed multiple other burglaries and property damage around the New Richmond area and in River Falls.
Both men were scheduled to be arraigned in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Wednesday, June 4.