Eagan man stole $250,000 from area businesses

An Eagan man has pleaded guilty to stealing over $10,000 in equipment from Absolute Trailer Sales, 9601 Jefferson Trail, Inver Grove Heights, the weekend of June 30-July 1.

Wade Duane Arvidson, 42, of Eagan was sentenced Sept. 25 to 60 months in prison and restitution, more than double the presumptive sentence under Minnesota sentencing guidelines.

Arvidson was sentenced as a career offender (he has 10 previous convictions for theft-related crimes since 1986) and ordered to provide law enforcement with details about the stolen property.

In addition to the theft from Absolute Trailer Sales, Arvidson is believed to have stolen $250,000 in property from businesses around the metro area.

County Attorney James Backstrom praised the cooperative investigation by the Inver Grove Heights and Eagan police departments, which led to Arvidson's arrest in the case.

"We are pleased to have brought this career offender to justice once again," Backstrom said.

On July 1, 2006, the owner of Absolute Trailer Sales in Inver Grove Heights discovered a theft from his business.

Among the items reported stolen: aluminum ramp sets and bars; trailer fenders, lights and side kits, a hydraulic trailer pump kit; batteries and cables, tires, aluminum tread plates; aluminum wind fairings, ladder racks and helmet cabinets; jack stands, and tools. Total loss of the stolen items was estimated at more than $10,000.

In an unrelated investigation, Eagan Police had obtained a court order to install a GPS-tracking device onto Arvidson's motorcycle. The device showed that, the evening of June 30, Arvidson traveled to Absolute Trailer Sales and stayed there for several hours.

Police were also conducting surveillance on Arvidson's residence in Eagan that night. He was seen returning home at 2:40 a.m. July 1. Over the next several hours, he drove to his sister's house to borrow a utility trailer and to switch vehicles. He left a second time and finally returned home at 5:22 a.m. on his motorcycle.

On July 12, officers from the Eagan and Inver Grove Heights police departments executed a search warrant at Arvidson's home and discovered approximately $250,000 in property believed to be stolen from jurisdictions around the metro. Officers also found a variety of burglary tools inside bags on his motorcycle.

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