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Two men charged in Breckenridge church theft

BRECKENRIDGE, Minn. – Two men face charges in Wilkin County District Court after the police chief here arrested them in connection with the theft of a generator outside a local church.

Police Chief Nate Harder said he was off duty last Sunday when a member of his church alerted him to a pair of suspicious men who had wandered into the church smoking cigarettes and then wandered out.

Harder said when he went to investigate, he found two men loading a generator into a vehicle that appeared to have come from a truck parked outside the church.

Harder arrested Richard D. Allen, 46, of Little Falls, Minn., and Matthew P. Dehncke, 22, of Paynesville, Minn.

Harder said he sent out a teletype to other law enforcement agencies after the arrests letting them know of the suspects’ method of operating. He said he has heard from at least three other jurisdictions in Minnesota that have pending investigations involving thefts connected to churches.

Harder said Allen and Dehncke face a number of theft-related charges in Wilkin County District Court and he said he anticipates they will face additional charges as the investigation proceeds.

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