Redwood man pleads guilty to felony theft of power

REDWOOD FALLS – A Redwood Falls man pleaded guilty to felony theft Oct. 21 in Redwood County District Court, admitting he stole electric power from the Redwood Electric Cooperative (REC) from Nov. 1, 2011 to May 31, 2013.

Timothy D. Wertish’s one year and one day sentence was stayed, but he was placed on three years probation, fined $200 and ordered to pay restitution when a final amount is determined.

Wertish was charged in June with felony theft of electrical power at his residence on Hunt Drive and his business, Redwood Falls Auto Sales. He admitted in court that he and his father-in-law, Terry Johnson of Springfield manipulated electrical systems at his residence and shop to get power that was not metered for 18 months. The cooperative claimed a loss of about $22,000 in the case.

Charges of power theft at his business were dismissed, but Wertish agreed to pay Redwood Falls Public Utilities for more than $7,500 worth of power the utility claimed was stolen at his business. In addition, Wertish agreed to cooperate with the prosecution of Johnson who was charged with two felony counts in June. Charges against Debra and Sommer Wertish were dismissed.

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