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Menahga man charged with burglary, theft

WADENA -- A 24-year-old man from Menahga faces various burglary and theft charges for allegedly stealing copper and other building materials and selling them for scrap.

Joshua Howard Bungert is scheduled for his first appearance in Wadena County District Court on two court files on Sept. 14. For the first, he's charged with third-degree burglary and theft -- take/use/transfer movable property with no consent. In that case, he's accused of stealing copper from Schaffer's Recycling in Menahga and selling it to Wadena Hide and Fur. He allegedly used his motorcycle with a small trailer to load up copper after climbing the fence at Schaffers on 7-8 occasions.

In the second court file, Bungert faces charges of second-degree burglary -- dwelling, second-degree burglary -- possess tool, and theft -- take/use/transfer movable property with no consent. In October 2008, a Menahga man who was doing home repairs noticed several building materials had disappeared from his property, including copper pipe, copper wiring, pipe fittings, roof flashing and a dryer cord, with a total value of about $338. The man said about $100 in sheetrock damage was caused by the removal of copper wiring from walls. The man said this was the second time copper items had disappeared, and the first time the value of the missing items was $175, for a total of $613.

In both cases, investigators used covertly recorded statements from Bungert where he allegedly admitted to taking the metals and selling them for scrap.