Weather Forecast


Two men charged after weekend thefts in area

MORRIS – Two men are facing felony charges related to a series of thefts in the region, including three in Morris, two weeks ago.

Richard Donald Allen, age 46, of Little Falls, and Matthew Paul Dehncke, age 22, of Paynesville have been charged in Wilkin County with felony possession of burglary or theft tools and felony theft. Allen also has an addition gross misdemeanor charge of obstructing legal process.

Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan said he is still sorting through reports and may be able to charge additional crimes in Stevens County.

“It appears that the thefts from the cars and the burglary in Morris were completely random and the two were likely involved in other similar crimes throughout the area during the same time frame,” Jordan said.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Morris Police Department responded to reports of property stolen from vehicles parked at Federated Church and Assumption Catholic Church in Morris, as well as a residence on Iowa Avenue. Stolen items included purses, credit cards, cell phones, and jewelry.

According to court records, Allen and Dehncke were caught a few hours later outside Valley Christian Church in Breckenridge only a few hours after the thefts in Morris

Breckenridge Police Chief Nate Harder was helping with a meal at the church when he was informed of two suspicious males in the church parking lot. Harder found Allen and Dehncke outside, loading a generator from a pickup truck into their car. Harder knew the owner of the pickup truck and suspected something was amiss, so he engaged Allen and Dehncke. 

Eventually, Harder found many of the items that had been stolen from Morris in the vehicle occupied by Denkee and Allen.

“Both Dehncke and Allen are experienced criminals,” Jordan said. “Allen in particular appears to be a career offender.”

Many of the stolen items have been recovered and are in the process of being returned to the owners.