Minn. man arrested in Snap Fitness burglary

Posted 7/5/22

By Sarah Nigbor A 33-year-old Minnesota man already in prison has been convicted of charges related to a 2019 vehicle theft in rural River Falls and a 2019 break-in at Snap Fitness in Prescott. Brian …

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Minn. man arrested in Snap Fitness burglary


By Sarah Nigbor

A 33-year-old Minnesota man already in prison has been convicted of charges related to a 2019 vehicle theft in rural River Falls and a 2019 break-in at Snap Fitness in Prescott.

Brian Richard Fleischauer, North St. Paul, is currently serving time at Jackson Correctional Institution in Black River Falls for another burglary conviction. In Pierce County Circuit Court on June 28, he was convicted of felony burglary of building or dwelling and felony operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $1,036. If his probation is revoked, he will be sentenced to three years in prison followed by four years of extended supervision.

According to the complaint: A Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a 965


Street address in rural River Falls to take a vehicle theft report at 9:25 a.m. March 23, 2019. The resident said he had parked his 2008 Chrysler Town & Country in his driveway the night before; the last time he saw the vehicle was around 8 p.m. He had left the keys in the cupholder after loading the van with garbage to take to the dump the next day. He noticed the van was gone when he went outside the next morning at 8:30 a.m. The man’s neighbors and daughters had not seen the van, which had cracks in the bumper, a defective rear windshield wiper and a chipped windshield. The van was estimated to be worth about $4,000. A few days later at 10:38 a.m. March 27, 2019 a Snap Fitness (1435 N. Acres Road, Prescott) employee reported a 55-inch TV missing from the group fitness room. A DVD player, which had been with the TV, was found on the floor surrounded by scattered DVDs. Video surveillance showed an older man access the facility at 3:10 a.m. and he was identified as a customer. At about 4:21 a.m., he heard a knock on the front door, went to the door and talked to a man briefly before letting him in, along with two other men. He left around 4:22 a.m. without talking to the men he’d let in, who immediately proceeded to go into the group fitness room where there were no cameras. One man is seen standing sentry at the front door looking outside while the other two exit the group fitness room a couple minutes later. One is carrying the black flat screen TV and they all leave by 4:27 a.m. The chain of events continued when at 8 a.m. March 28, a complainant reported seeing a suspicious white van at 2 a.m. in the culdesac of Glenmeadow Street in River Falls when she let out her dogs. The vehicle was an older white mini-van, which was driving slowly until the complainant turned on her outside porch light, at which time the van sped off. Later that morning, the complainant learned from the neighborhood Facebook page that there had been thefts in the area that night, prompting her to report the suspicious van.

While police were taking the suspicious van call, her neighbor called police to report a burglary in which an Apple iPad had been taken.

The owner tracked the stolen iPad to a Kennedy Street duplex in River Falls. Police went to Kennedy Street to see if they saw a van matching the complainant’s description and they found the white Chrysler Town & Country that had been reported as stolen. The Glenmeadow Street complainant confirmed it was the same van she’d seen cruising the neighborhood earlier in the morning. Dis- patch confirmed it was the van that had been reported stolen from rural River Falls on March 23. In the back of the van, police located the television from Snap Fitness (seen through the window).

The van was towed to the police impound lot.

Several officers stationed themselves near the Kennedy Street house and soon two men exited the house, got into a Lincoln sedan and drove off, at which time police pulled them over. After speaking with the men and identifying them as Fleischauer and Franklin Vincent Masterson, 41, River Falls, both were transported to St.

Croix County Jail. During a body search, police found a knife and small glass pipe on Fleischauer which violated his bail bond conditions in a separate case.

While the traffic stop was being performed, other officers responded to the residence where they spoke with a woman, who told the police Masterson was her fiancé and the white van belonged to his new friend Fleischauer. She gave police permission to search the basement, where they found a couple of tool cases (belonging to the iPad owner), the iPad, yard care tools, a circular saw, a Stihl weedeater, a reciprocating saw, three Hilti drills, a cord- less framing nailer, a roofing nailer, a Stihl chainsaw and other tools. The belongings were eventually returned to their rightful owners.

Brian R. Fleischauer