RIVER FALLS – A homeless man with a lengthy criminal record was sentenced to prison Jan. 24 after a felony burglary conviction that resulted from him breaking into a UW-River Falls dorm and living …
RIVER FALLS – A homeless man with a lengthy criminal record was sentenced to prison Jan. 24 after a felony burglary conviction that resulted from him breaking into a UW-River Falls dorm and living in an unoccupied apartment in 2020.
Moses Lee Sheffel, 26, was convicted of felony burglary – building or dwelling, sentenced to two years in prison and five years of extended supervision, ordered to pay $370.69 in restitution (plus a 10% surcharge) and fined $518 Jan. 24. A theft – movable property charge was read-in but dismissed. Retail theft – intentionally take and theft – movable property charges were dismissed.
Sheffel’s address is now listed as Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun.
According to the complaint: At 11:50 a.m. Aug. 18, 2020, a UW-River Falls custodian contacted campus police because he believed a homeless person was living in the hall director’s apartment in Grimm Hall (750 E. Cascade Ave.) Grimm Hall at that time was under extensive remodeling and was unoccupied. While the hall director wasn’t living in the apartment at that time, he and another resident had property still stored in it.
When police approached Grimm Hall, they noticed a torn window screen on the apartment’s east-facing first floor window. The screen was pushed outward.
When construction workers discovered a leak in the basement that seemed to be coming from the hall director’s apartment, they called staff, who attempted to get into the room with a key. However, the door chain was engaged and they couldn’t get in. That’s when they discovered the torn screen and called police. Officers used a bolt cutter and made sure no one was in the apartment, which appeared ransacked. It also looked like someone had been living in it for awhile.
When the hall director entered the apartment, he was in shock. He said he’d last been in the apartment on Monday, Aug. 10 to gather personal items. At that time, everything was neat and orderly. They discovered that $1,000 in cash had been stolen, as well as a 40-inch television, dishes and silverware. Police collected DNA samples and other evidence, including shoeprints outside the window from an Air Jordan sneaker, two pairs of shorts, a pair of socks, a Milwaukee Bucks jersey, two toothbrushes, a university key, a cellphone and a sealed mailed envelope from the Department of Workforce Development from Moses Lee Sheffel.
Sheffel had been caught multiple times sleeping and trespassing in campus buildings. As part of his probation, he was to have no contact with UWRF. Since there were no signs of forced entry, it was unknown whether Sheffel entered the apartment through an unlocked door or if he had a key.
When Sheffel was arrested, the treads of his shoes matched the prints found outside the apartment window.