CHETEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Two suspects, who are allegedly connected to the theft and damage of over $300,000 worth of equipment and items in northwest Wisconsin over a two-month period, were arrested following a burglary in progress call on September 12.
According to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, authorities responded to the 100 block of 26th Street, which is a large sand plant just south of Chetek, on Tuesday, September 12.
Deputies reportedly used a drone, vehicles, and were on foot to try to find and apprehend the two suspects on the property, who were allegedly “actively engaged in a burglary,” the release notes.
After deputies were able to successfully apprehend the two men, later identified as 27-year-old Draven Merz from New Auburn, and 34-year-old Lee Lefevers from Cameron, several search warrants have since been executed.
During the search warrants, a stolen UTV, motorcycle, and other items have been recovered. Deputies say the recovered items were taken from “around the area and other counties.” The names of the other counties were not provided.
It was stated that authorities believe that Merz and Lefevers are suspected of taking or damaging over $300,000 worth of equipment and items from the area over the past two months.
Both Merz and Lefevers are being held in the Barron County Jail on charges of Theft, Possession of Meth, and Possession of Stolen Property. Formal charges by the Barron County District Attorney’s Office are expected soon.
No other information was provided.