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Steel thief sentenced to jail

A man who used a chop saw to cut up stolen steel I-beams and then sold them to an area business has been sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Christopher Lee Haugen, age 27, of Rothsay, was sentenced in Otter Tail County District Court on Dec. 23. This came about following a conviction of property damage in the first degree, a felony. Haugen also had been charged with theft of steel.

Court records state that on Feb. 7, 2012, Haugen used a gas-powered chop saw to cut steel I-beams that had been stolen. The cutting made the I-beams unusable by the rightful owner.

The stolen steel was later sold by Haugen to an area business.

According to court documents, Haugen was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 160 days stayed for two years. He was fined $900, with $400 stayed until 2015. He will also be on supervised probation for two years.

Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent