Tony Fluit, 26, and Shane Hultgren, 30, both of Beaver Creek, are facing felony charges after allegedly breaking into the Hills Bar and robbing the ATM machine and till, resulting in a loss of $5,760.
According to the criminal complaint filed at Rock County District Court, the two men were taken into custody last week after witnesses reported suspicious activity.
At 7:40 a.m. on Thursday, May 1, Stacen Burgers contacted Sheriff Evan Verbrugge about a maroon vehicle Burgers had seen driving suspiciously around Hills that morning shortly after 4:30 a.m.
The report states that at 12 p.m. later that day, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from Ericka Tollefson, the new manager of the Hills Bar, saying she had been robbed of the ATM machine and the till from the bar. She said the back door of the bar had been broken into.
According to the report, Sgt. Greg Lingen was able to view the bar security video and observed an individual entering the building, walking behind the bar to the cash register, then leaving. About five minutes later, the video showed two individuals appearing to remove the ATM.
Law enforcement lifted fingerprints at the scene and ran the license plate number from the vehicle plate provided by Burgers. The plates were registered to 300 E. Second Street in Beaver Creek.
Fluit, Hultgren and Fluit’s girlfriend recently became new renters at the address in Beaver Creek, the home owned by Leroy Schroeder.
Authorities then obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and the premises at 300 E. Second St. in Beaver Creek. When officers arrived, Hultgren was the only one at the residence.
While officers searched the home, a blue bag was located under the couch cushion that contained information for the stolen ATM.
In a search of the basement of the home, authorities found an ATM shell, the digital face of the ATM, and broken door panels of the ATM. They also identified a TV, videos and games, and an air mattress that were purchased that day in Sioux Falls.
After the ATM was brought up from the basement, Hultgren attempted to touch it multiple times and was ordered not to do so, in order to preserve the fingerprints. Hultgren was then arrested.
At 10 p.m. Thursday, authorities located the vehicle subject to the warrant in the city of Luverne. Located inside was $220 in $20 bills, and a deposit slip for First State Bank Southwest.
Fluit was taken to the law enforcement center where he agreed to speak without an attorney and states that he had been asleep during the time of the crime. Deputies stated to him that the outfit that he was wearing fit the description of the suspect’s outfit seen in the video at the burglary site in Hills.
Fluit stated that he and Hultgren had both been drinking, entered the bar then proceeded to take the ATM machine back to their rental home in Beaver Creek, and that Hultgren must have taken the money.
When authorities told Fluit the story wasn’t adding up, he allegedly admitted that Hultgren had pried the door open and gone in first. They then left to make sure no alarms were activated. They took the ATM back to Beaver Creek into the basement of their home. Fluit indicated he got about $900 and Hultgren took the rest, according to the criminal complaint.
Both men posted bail and have been released. They each make their initial appearance in court May 12. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.