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Man faces charges in thefts at Crosby library

William Christopher Kounkel

CROSBY—A 31-year-old Crosby man faces multiple felony charges after two women reported their purses stolen at the Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library in Crosby.

William Christopher Kounkel was charged Oct. 26 in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with four felonies—third-degree burglary, fifth-degree drug possession, receiving stolen property and financial fraud—and a misdemeanor for violating a domestic abuse no contact order. Kounkel's next court hearing will be at 9 a.m. Nov. 14.

According to the statement of probable cause filed against Kounkel, Crosby police received a call Oct. 24 from two victims at the Crosby library stating their purses were stolen from the library employee lockers. Each purse had $150 in cash and multiple credit cards and bank cards, as well as the victims' vehicle keys.

The victims stated a man came into the library after it opened for the day and made multiple trips in and out of the library and around the interior of the library.

At about the same time, a Crosby officer was called to the Crosby Police Department to talk with another woman wanting to report a trespass issue. During the conversation, the woman described Kounkel, who is a previous acquaintance, and she requested him to be trespassed from her property because he was hanging around and she did not want him around her residence.

The officer responded to Kounkel's last known address. Police recently arrested Kounkel for domestic assault and observed him to have an active domestic abuse no contact order between him and the victim of the assault, who lived at the same address. The order meant Kounkel was not supposed to be at the residence.

An officer pulled up behind the residence and observed Kounkel pop his head out of the open door of the detached garage. Kounkel saw the officer and went back inside and shut the door. The officer also found Kounkel resembled the man described by the victims of the library thefts. The officer, along with backup officers, gave loud verbal commands for Kounkel to come out and open the door. After several loud commands identifying themselves as police, an officer kicked open the door and Kounkel was found hiding behind a dresser in the garage. He was arrested for the DANCO violation and was searched for weapons and illegal contraband.

During the search, an officer discovered a large amount of cash, matching the amount the victims reported they had in their purses at the library, as well as what appeared to be house keys, a newer style Jeep key fob and a single key with a Toyota tag on it in Kounkel's front right jacket pocket. The two keys matched the property reported stolen from the victims. Officers then executed a search warrant for the garage in which Kounkel was arrested and located a large amount of personal belongings belonging to both the theft victims including an iPhone 6, numerous credit cards with the victim's names, paperwork and their driver's licenses.

During the search warrant, numerous drug-related items—including suspected marijuana, methamphetamine and a prescription pill bottle containing numerous pills—also were found.

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