By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
ST PETER — Investigators used a GPS-tracking device to link storage unit burglaries to a suspect who also is facing gun possession charges.
A New Ulm police officer called a Nicollet County detective Feb. 11 to report 48-year-old Buck Otto White of New Ulm was suspected of burglarizing storage units in St. Peter. That officer also told the detective a search warrant had been issued that would allow investigators to place a GPS-tracking device on White’s van.
Shortly after the GPS device was placed on White’s vehicle, he was tracked to a storage business in the 1700 block of Gault Street in St. Peter. When a St. Peter police officer went to investigate, he found a barbed wire fence had been cut.
The van was seen heading north on Highway 169 and the GPS device showed it was frequently moving faster than the speed limit. So Scott County authorities were asked to stop the van. The van was stopped near Shakopee. White was identified as the driver, according to a criminal complaint filed in Nicollet County District Court.
The device showed the van was in the area of the Gault Street storage facility and another St. Peter storage business Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. A victim told police a new battery was missing from his storage shed after White was seen at the Gault Street business Feb. 13.
Investigators also knew White’s van had been at a storage business in Courtland. He had rented a unit there in 2011. It was searched Feb. 14, resulting in items being recovered, the complaint said.
Four firearms also were found in White’s storage unit: two shotguns, a .22 rifle and an SKS rifle with a collapsible stock.
White has been charged with eight felony counts related to being a felon in possession of a firearm, one felony count of third-degree burglary, misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor receiving stolen property.
He has several prior felony convictions, including a 2006 first-degree drug conviction in Hennepin County and a 2006 possession of stolen property conviction in Dodge County.