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Man charged in Cottage Grove burglary

A Cottage Grove man was charged for allegedly burglarizing a Cottage Grove home.

Eric L. Eberspacher, 20, is charged with second-degree burglary, theft and receiving stolen property for the alleged burglary and a theft from the back of a pickup truck parked in Cottage Grove.

According to the Washington County District Court Complaint, officers responded to a residence in the 8800 block of Inwood Avenue around 6 p.m. Friday, June 11, on a call of a burglary. The resident reported that she returned to her home to find the rear patio door open and a large bag of items such as a laptop, cell phones, digital cameras and jewelry near the open door.

A neighbor said he saw a man wearing a brown shirt and brown pants running from the home carrying a bag before the resident pulled into the driveway, according to the complaint. The witness said he saw the man run to an area near Armstrong Elementary School, drop a bag, and then continue running, the complaint says.

An officer located the bag the witness said he saw the man drop, and it was a purse containing a gun safe and other items, according to the complaint.

The resident said Eberspacher was a friend of her son, and that he might be heading for his sister's house in the 9200 block of 73rd Street in Cottage Grove, the complaint says. His sister gave police access to the detached garage where she said he sometimes resides, and police found various items including black leather gloves, a Bluetooth headset, cords, and a green canvas tool bag and tools. There was a FedEx receipt in the bag that led police to a resident in the 7400 block of Jensen Avenue, who said the bag and tools had been stolen from the back of his work truck while parked at his residence.

Police found Eberspacher sleeping in the garage at 1:30 a.m. and questioned him about the incident, according to the complaint. He was wearing a brown shirt and brown pants, matching the witness' description, the complaint says. He admitted to taking the tool bag, which he said he had taken to work on his bicycle, but did not admit to stealing anything from the house. He later said that he had gone into the home to get food, but said he had only eaten a brownie and hadn't taken anything.

Eberspacher is charged with second-degree burglary, which has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines; theft, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines; and receiving stolen property, which has a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and $3,000 in fines.

Eberspacher's initial court appearance is scheduled for July 22.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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