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Homeless Man Charged in Burglary of St. Michael’s Highway 101 Liquors

Wright County Deputies have arrested a man who they have accused of “squatting” in the former liquor store location, which has been mostly vacated since a fire last March. He’s also charged with burglary.

A 32-year-old man with no permanent address has been arrested and charged with burglary and DWI after police found him drunk in his car outside of Highway 101 Liquors in St. Michael earlier this month.

James Lee Anderson now faces multiple charges in Wright County District Court after he was placed under arrest June 9.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Wright County Deputy was performing a routine surveillance of the area when he observed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the store, March.

The deputy approached the vehicle and identified the occupant as James Lee Anderson, 32, no permanent address. He noticed Anderson had his keys in the vehicle, and had turned the car “on,” but the engine was not running. The deputy noticed visible signs of intoxication, and called for assistance.

After a second deputy arrived, the first deputy searched 101 Liquors for signs of criminal activity. The deputy noticed boxes and coolers towards the front of the store, and several cases of liquor stored in the building. The deputy noticed a pair of jeans in the bathroom lying on the floor, a radio that was operating and fresh feces in the bathroom. A puddle in the corner of the bathroom was found and ID’d as urine.

The deputy spoke with Anderson, who admitted he did have a pair of jeans and radio that were in the store. Anderson told deputies on scene he had spent the night of June 8 in the store, as he was homeless. He admitted that he “took a leak” inside the building, but denied the feces in the bathroom was his.

Anderson said he had consumed several “Berryweiss” beers he found inside the building.

Highway 101 Liquors’ owner Al Hartinger was contacted and he also went through the building. Hartinger said a pressure washer was missing, which belonged to a hired contractor, Thunder Restoration. Hartinger also believed the restoration company might have been the party responsible for leaving a door unlocked, allowing Anderson access.

Anderson was given a field PBT, which revealed a blood alcohol level of .202. Later, after transport to county jail, he was given an Intoxilyzer test at 10:33 p.m., which revealed a .19 level.

In a follow-up investigation, Wright County investigators found a pawn shop receipt for a pressure washer matching the description of the one missing from the store. After a follow-up interview, Anderson  admitted he “kind of remembered” the washer inside of the building and “kind of remembered” pawning it off.

Anderson faces multiple charges of burglary, theft (taking property without consent), trespassing, and DWI. The steepest charge–third degree burglary–carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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