Dickinson man is convicted of seven counts of burglaryA 54-year-old Dickinson man was recently convicted of the burglaries of seven different Dickinson businesses.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON - A 54-year-old Dickinson man was recently convicted of the burglaries of seven different Dickinson businesses.
Bruce Dutchuk faces a five-year sentence for possession of stolen property, as well as a five-year suspended sentence for the seven burglaries. He will also be on supervised probation for five years after his release from prison.
Dickinson Police Department Lt. Rick Shirey said the burglaries took place on three different nights. On Nov. 24, 2007, Dutchuk burglarized Bentz Auto Body, West Plains Implement and Larry’s Alignment, all of Dickinson.
On March 17, Dutchuk burglarized East End Auto, Kelsey’s Kitchen and West Plains Implement, also all of Dickinson.
On March 31, he burglarized United Building Center of Dickinson.
Dutchuk was first arrested in connection to the burglary at Larry’s Alignment, Shirey said.
Shirey said authorities came to Dutchuk’s residence to serve a warrant for an unrelated matter. While at his residence, authorities found tools from Larry’s Alignment. He was then charged with stolen property charges in connection with the burglary at Larry’s Alignment.
Dutchuk was out on bond for those charges when he committed the last four burglaries. Because he was already facing stolen property charges, Shirey said authorities were keeping a close eye on Dutchuk.
“The other reason the suspicion focused on him was an officer that was responding to a domestic (call) on the night of the (March) 17th saw him in his vehicle leaving East End Auto,” Shirey said. “As it turns out, he had just finished burglarizing the place and was just pulling out when an officer went by and spotted the vehicle.”
Shirey said the officer did not stop the vehicle that was thought to be Dutchuk’s because of the nature of the complaint the officer was responding to.
“Crimes against persons always have precedence over crimes against property,” Shirey said.
Although they were unable to connect Dutchuk to the other burglaries at the time, their heightened surveillance led to Dutchuk’s arrest on April 2.
“Officers were watching the vehicle and when they followed the vehicle they saw that it had expired registration and the wrong plates,” Shirey said.
He added that Dutchuk’s license had also been suspended and he had been drinking that day. Authorities then searched Dutchuk’s vehicle and found cash from the United Building Center.
He was arrested that day for driving under the influence and unlawful use of license plates or tabs. While Dutchuk sat in jail, authorities found more evidence linking Dutchuk to the burglaries.
“We were able to secure some surveillance footage at East End Auto and match up some other evidence at the scene,” Shirey said. “We had a lot of forensic evidence that would match up.”
He said authorities obtained a search warrant for Dutchuk’s residence and found a shirt that matched the one in the East End Auto footage. The shirt also had a tear on it and upon closer examination of the scene, authorities found fibers from the shirt on the fence around East End Auto.
Shirey said authorities also found a pair of shoes at Dutchuk’s residence that matched footprints at the scene of the East End Auto burglary, along with tire tracks that matched.
“At that point we had him charged with possession of stolen property and he had been charged with the burglary at East End Auto,” Shirey said. “After we sat down and started talking to him, he confessed to the rest of the burglaries.”
Dutchuk had gained entry to all seven businesses by using force.
“There was damage to doors and windows at each of these businesses,” Shirey said. “He would pry doors or go through windows – he used both methods.”
Shirey added Dutchuk only took tools and cash from the businesses.
Shirey said Dutchuk had taken tools and $300-$400 from Bentz Auto Body. He had also taken $800 from East End Auto. Under $50 was taken from Kelsey’s Kitchen and West Plains Implement.
Dutchuk took about $700 from UBC, most of which was recovered. Shirey said the tools stolen from Larry’s Alignment were also recovered.
Dutchuk had also vandalized the businesses he burglarized on March 17.