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Second person charged in copper thefts

A second individual, Daniel Floyd Seifert, 49, Cannon Falls, has been charged in connection with the theft of copper from an irrigation unit in Castle Rock Township. He has been charged with one count of criminal damage to property in the first degree (aid and abet) and one count of theft (aid and abet).

Mathew Steven Kimmes, 19, was charged earlier in the week with the same charges. According to complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, deputies were called Sept.8 to a wooded area in Randolph on the reported black smoke. An area resident reported he had seen the black smoke, so he and residents went to see what was happening. They found copper wires burning.

While the deputy was investigating the fire, he learned there was a suspicious vehicle in the area earlier in the morning. The owner of the property adjacent to where the fire was reported told the deputy he had just seen a suspicious gray vehicle go down the road. The deputy located the vehicle and completed a traffic stop on the 49-year-old man, identified as Seifert. He saw a red gas can in the back of the vehicle.

In talking to the deputy, Seifert said he had driven his car (with Kimmes) to the wooded area. He said he knew Kimmes was going to remove the wire from the irrigator unit.

The previous evening, a resident of Castle Rock Township reported his irrigator had been damaged and copper wiring taken. Damage to the irrigator was estimated at more than $1,500.