Bail was set for $50,000 for a Willmar man in the Kandiyohi County Jail charged with 18 felonies. The charges are related to a string of apartment break-ins in March and April in the Willmar area, allegedly accomplished with the use of an unauthorized master key.
Arrested in April was 39 year old Jered Paul Haugen, but charges were amended in late June and earlier this month to add more charges. He appeared in Kandiyohi County District Court where the bail was set. A pretrial hearing has been set for September 22.
Haugen faces 11 felony burglary charges, 11 theft charges, 10 charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Haugen was part of a high speed chase that ensured after a New London resident reported a burglary in progress at his apartment. The man reported that someone entered his apartment and called out “Maintenance.” After hearing suspicious noises, the resident checked things out and found a man going through a cabinet with several items on the floor. The man then fled the apartment.
Deputies pulled a man over matching Haugen’s description a bit later, but Haugen drove away at speeds approaching 110 miles per hour as he was pursued by officers. Out of safety concerns, the pursuit ended at the city limits, but Haugen was later arrested at his Willmar home.
In the investigation, deputies learned that Haugen worked for a contractor who did maintenance work in apartments in the Willmar area and had a master key that would open a number of apartments in the area, according to court documents. Among items reported stolen: computers, TVs, video game consoles, power tools, gold jewelry and small appliances.