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article imageNewspaper carrier accused of burglarizing South Dakota homes

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 10, 2012 in Crime
Sioux Falls - A newspaper carrier has been linked to the burglaries occurring over the holidays in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Police believe the man had targeted customers who had suspended their delivery service while they were on vacation.
According to Keloland, the man has been arrested for one crime and charged with burglary and possession of stolen property. In this incident, police say he allegedly took jewelry and a $2,300 rare coin collection from one home in which he forced entry through a locked garage door.
"Some stolen goods were found in pawn shops. They had been pawned already. That gave a particular name," Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.
This information led to the arrest of Patrick Michael VanWagner, 29, after police found other stolen items in his home after a warrant was obtained to conduct a search. Some of the items from the rare coin collection were found.
The man was an independent contractor to the newspaper he was working for, the Argus Leader. The Argus Leader said in their report the company has terminated the contract between VanWagner and the paper.
The man had purportedly viewed a list of people who placed their names on a list that said they were going on vacation and wanted to temporarily suspend service while they were out of town.
"He had seen that information and was using the information to burglarize homes while they were on vacation," Clemens said.
Investigating authorities said the 29-year-old man confessed to other burglaries and, as a result, additional charges may come. Nine homes were robbed and police suspect VanWagner is behind all of the break-ins, and there may be more.
"We believe that there's probably other victims out there that either don't know if they're out of town, or that we haven't been able to locate yet," Clemens said.
Police are asking for anyone who lives in the area and was burglarized to contact authorities.
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