Trenton theft leads police on twisting trail

Posted 8/4/21

TOWN OF TRENTON – A Haugen man is facing felony charges after allegedly burglarizing a Town of Trenton home, stealing two vehicles and leading police on a trail north to Haugen and back down to …

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Trenton theft leads police on twisting trail


TOWN OF TRENTON – A Haugen man is facing felony charges after allegedly burglarizing a Town of Trenton home, stealing two vehicles and leading police on a trail north to Haugen and back down to Wabasha, Minn.

Richard E. Carr, 30, was ordered to pay $500 cash bail on felony burglary – building/dwelling and felony take and drive vehicle without consent charges in Pierce County Circuit Court July 14. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

According to the complaint: At about 4:25 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a burglary no longer in progress at a 140th Ave., Hager City address. The complainant said that sometime between Wednesday morning and 4:20 p.m. Thursday, he noticed two of his pickup trucks and a firearm were missing. As a truck driver, he said he was frequently away from home for several days at a time. He had left home about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and returned just before calling the PCSO when he realized his red 2007 Chevrolet K2500 and a white Ford F350 with a Vplow were gone. He had not registered the vehicles because he was in the process of repairing them, but showed the officer the signed titles.

Near a basement door at the back of the residence, police found a pick axe that appeared to have been used to pry open the door, which had significant damage. The victim said he came home to several lights left on. A passport, Social Security card and black Springfield XDM 45ACP pistol were missing. The victim found a car battery charger sitting on the kitchen floor and a cabinet drawer sitting on the counter. Several other rooms showed signs of rummaging, with items strewn about.

A short time later, a Goodhue County deputy located the Chevy K2500 on Highway 61 just south of Red Wing, Minn. near Flower Valley Road. The victim identified his firearm case in the bed of the truck, but it was empty. Police collected DNA from the truck and house, as well as items not belonging to the victim, such as a pair of shoes and a hydration backpack.

Other items stolen from the victim’s home included personal and financial documents, two handguns, a compound bow, a Dell laptop, power tools and equipment.

The next day, PCSO received a call from a Barron County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who said video surveillance of a gas drive-off at River Country Co-op in Prairie Farm showed the stolen Ford F-350 with a lone, male occupant. The victim had identified a possible suspect, the son of his brother’s ex-girlfriend. He told police he spoke to his brother, who allegedly told him his stolen things might be in Haugen and gave him Carr’s name. He revealed someone broke into his Balsam Lake cabin, which he owns with his brother, about a month prior but that he never reported it.

On Oct. 19, police went to Carr’s girlfriend’s home in Haugen, which was listed as Carr’s residence with his probation officer in Barron County. She positively identified Carr as the driver in the Prairie Farm gas drive-off, but denied knowing his current whereabouts or knowledge of any stolen goods. Later that evening, she informed police Carr had called her and told her he left the stolen Ford on County Road B between Haugen and Cumberland when he ran out of gas. She also told police he received a ride from a random woman, but again denied knowing his whereabouts. She later changed her story and said she actually picked Carr up, but that they argued and he ran off. Carr’s mother, who also denied knowing Carr’s whereabouts, apparently came to the girlfriend’s house and stayed with her that night.

When PCSO examined the truck Oct. 20, the V-plow was no longer attached and its plates were missing. The Vplow was later found at a property near Clayton. They found stolen items not related to the Pierce County case in the truck, including a kayak, paddleboard, fishing equipment, clothing and garbage. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles issued warrants for Carr’s girlfriend’s, mother’s and her exboyfriend’s text messages with Carr. All claimed they had not heard from nor knew where Carr was.

PCSO later learned that Carr fled police in Minnesota, but was apprehended in Wabasha County, where he was in jail. A PCSO deputy traveled there and spoke with Carr Nov. 3, who at first denied knowing anything about the Trenton burglary. He told officers that the victim’s brother took him to the victim’s house to get a plow truck that he could use to make money in the winter. He told police he started it with a screwdriver, since the victim’s brother told him it had no keys. He denied taking the Chevy, although text messages indicated he did but that it broke down on the side of Highway 61.

Carr told the officer that when his girlfriend picked him up between Cumberland and Haugen, that he didn’t run off in the woods, that she took him home with her, where she and his mother tried to convince him to turn himself in. He said he went to his mom’s house in Eleva the next day, but stole her car a few hours later when his probation officer called there. He drove toward Menomonie, where the car died by Walmart. He told police he hid in the woods and slept in a Porta Potti before heading on foot to a friend’s house between Menomonie and Colfax. Carr said his friend gave him a maroon Silverado because he didn’t want him to stay there, but that he wanted $1,000 for it when Carr could pay him. Carr headed back to Haugen, left his girlfriend a note on the door to let her know he was okay, then drove around northern Wisconsin for a day or two. He said he decided to head down to Lake City, Minn., where he could “get some sleep in a public land area.” However, a police officer spotted Carr in Lake City, where he fled but was arrested.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. July 29 in Pierce County Circuit Court.