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Man arrested in connection with Cottage Grove burglary

Authorities are pursuing criminal charges against a 37-year-old man who allegedly broke into a Cottage Grove home, stole jewelry and saving bonds and was later tracked down in Minneapolis after ditching a backpack containing the stolen items.

Mack D. Chambliss, who has no permanent address, was arrested Thursday in connection with the Wednesday burglary in the 9400 block of Kimbro Avenue.

According to Cottage Grove police:

The homeowner returned to the house about 8 p.m. and found a garage service door open and a door to the residence open. Once inside, the woman saw that the house was in disarray so she called 911 and waited outside.

Police arrived, found no suspects in the residence and began a burglary investigation. Later that evening, Minneapolis police recovered a backpack that contained the victim's items, including paperwork listing the Cottage Grove home's address. A bail bondsman who had been tracking Chambliss in Minneapolis for unrelated outstanding warrants retrieved the backpack after Chambliss fled on foot.

On Thursday, Cottage Grove police worked with Minneapolis officers, the bail bondsman and other authorities to locate Chambliss at an apartment in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Police arrested Chambliss for burglary and drug warrants and on suspicion of second-degree burglary and property damage in the Cottage Grove case. He was booked into Washington County Jail.

Authorities retrieved more stolen items from the apartment and believe Chambliss was exchanging some of the stolen property for drugs, Cottage Grove police Captain Pete Koerner said.

Chambliss allegedly was in possession of methamphetamine when he was arrested.

Police also are seeking a criminal charge against a Chambliss friend who admitted that he drove Chambliss to Washington County to commit a burglary, Koerner said. Police believe they picked the rural Kimbro Avenue home at random.

Police do not believe Chambliss has any connections to Cottage Grove.

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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