3 face felony charges in Mills Fleet Farm shoplifting
Three men face felony charges after an alleged shoplifting spree at the new Mills Fleet Farm store in Hermantown.
Police said the suspects were apprehended on Tuesday afternoon — just six days after the store opened its doors — after they allegedly removed security devices and stole a number of items, including clothing, sunglasses, binoculars, tools and knives.
Jacob Anthony Carlson, 21, of Proctor; James Eugene Ferry, 27, of Toivola; and Kyle David Okstad, 25, of Duluth, each face a felony charge of possession of burglary tools.
Okstad also faces a fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance charge after police said a search turned up a small amount of heroin.
According to court documents:
Video surveillance showed the men entering the store, 4165 Loberg Ave., and concealing merchandise in their clothing.
The video showed Carlson using a knife to open a pair of binoculars, before discarding the empty packaging in a box of boots. He also was seen placing a cordless drill kit in his pants pocket.
Okstad was seen on the video removing a security tag from an Under Armor sweatshirt before proceeding to the hunting department, where he used a knife to steal a Leatherman multi-tool device.
Ferry was shown on the surveillance video removing tags from a pair of sunglasses and slicing open a package containing a tactical knife before leaving the store and meeting up with his co-defendants in the parking lot.
Hermantown police officers reviewed the video and stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Ferry. The stolen merchandise, along with knives suspected to be used in the theft, were recovered. Police said Ferry admitted that he agreed to drive his friends to the store to steal the goods.
A small plastic bag containing two-tenths of a gram of a substance that field-tested positive for heroin also was recovered from Okstad.
Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Kristen Swanson asked for cash bail for all three men, citing extensive criminal histories.
Ferry is currently on supervised release for a third-degree controlled substance charge, and had checked in for the Drug Court program just four days earlier, Swanson said.
Carlson was released from the Northeast Regional Corrections Center on July 17 after serving a sentence for third-degree burglary, felony theft and check forgery.
Okstad was released from prison on June 9 and remains on supervised release on charges of third-degree burglary, third-degree sale of a controlled substance and escape from custody.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Eric Hylden set bail at $20,000 for Okstad and $10,000 for Ferry and Carlson.
All three are due back in court on Sept. 14.