Teens face felonies after allegedly stealing cop radio and broadcasting, "F**k the police"
On the night of April 11, 19-year-old Dilworth resident Kody Thronson and 18-year-old Moorhead resident Casey Gillette were allegedly out breaking into cars in a Fargo neighborhood when they stumbled across a gold mine.
They came across an unlocked, unmarked police vehicle, replete with all sorts of goodies -- a bulletproof vest, handcuffs, a Taser, knife, handheld police radio, and loaded ammunition clips for a handgun.
The duo might have gotten away with the theft if Gillette hadn't acted on the bright idea to put the cuffs on a friend's wrists. On April 12, Joseph Tolzmann called police saying he needed help freeing himself from a pair of handcuffs, and officers soon figured out it was the set that had been stolen from the police vehicle. Tolzmann then ratted out Thronson and Gillette for taking the smorgasbord of gear from officer Bret Witte's car the night before.
Tolzmann told police he was riding in a car with Thronson and Gillette shortly after they stole all the stuff from Witte's car. As they drove around Moorhead, Thronson got on the police radio and said, "Fuck the police." The number from which the N.W.A. tribute was issued appeared to dispatch as Witte's. Tolzmann told police that the radio was tossed into the Red River as the car crossed a bridge.
Their cruise complete, the young men retired to Tolzmann's home, where they played with the bulletproof vest, posing and taking pictures with it, Tolzmann said. But all the gear Thronson and Gillette allegedly stole was gone by the team police searched the home on April 12.
In the wake of the incident, the Fargo PD spokesman, referring to the stolen items, said: "Those things we just don't take lightly and we're going to get those things back or do everything we can to get them back and the chief certainly is not happy about these circumstances." Indeed, the criminal complaint against Thronson and Gillette indicates police took pretty drastic measures in hopes of reclaiming Witte's gear.
During the investigation, Fargo Police Detective Paul Holte had Gillette place a phone call to Thronson. After they talked for a while, Holte got on the phone and talked to Thronson, telling him he was a drug mover from California who had $1,500 in cash and was interested in buying the [bullet-proof] vest.
Thronson told him he no longer had the vest and couldn't get it anymore, the report says.
Gillette told police he believed the vest was taken out and burned in the Detroit Lakes, Minn., or Frazee, Minn., area, the [criminal complaint] says.
Thronson and Gillette face felony conspiracy to commit unlawful entry into a vehicle charges, but they aren't the only ones to be disciplined in connection with the incident. Officer Witte received a letter of reprimand for leaving valuable items in an unlocked car. We know Fargo has a reputation for being relatively safe and all, but leaving thousands of dollars of gear you don't own in an unlocked vehicle? That's just flat-out dumb no matter where you live.
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