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Marshall man charged in area church thefts

A Marshall man is facing criminal charges in Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties for allegedly stealing items from two churches and the Dawson-Boyd school bus garage, court records said.

Neal Ryan Redepenning, 51, of Marshall, appeared in court Feb. 20, and a March 2 settlement conference is set for both the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine County cases.

In Lac qui Parle County, Redepenning is charged with receiving stolen property, fifth degree controlled substance crime and third degree burglary. A criminal complaint said more than $1,000 worth of tools were reported stolen from the Dawson-Boyd bus garage in Dawson on Feb. 18. The missing items included a $750 welder and a $500 torque wrench, the complaint said.

Police looked at surveillance footage from nearby businesses and saw a silver Chevrolet pickup at the garage early in the morning, the complaint said. Police identified Redepenning as a suspect, and while searching his pickup, police found items that had earlier been reported stolen from churches in Wood Lake and Echo, including a model tractor, brass offering trays and candle holders.

Redepenning was also charged in Yellow Medicine County with two counts of second degree burglary for thefts of items from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wood Lake and Peace Evangelical Church in Echo. A criminal complaint said items including a model tractor, candle holders, and a silver tea set and pitchers were reported stolen from St. John’s Lutheran on Feb. 14. On Feb. 17, Peace Evangelical reported a number of items stolen including brass offering plates, a brass altar cross, cash and a Carhartt coat.

Redepenning told law enforcement that he was “mad at God,” according to a criminal complaint. The complaint said he also told officers he threw the brass cross out “as far as he could” on the road, and threw away some cups and a pitcher because they “weren’t real.” The cups and pitcher were found in the home of Redepenning’s friend.

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