Coon Rapids man charged with string of Guthrie County thefts

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Shawn Knudsen, 29, of Coon Rapids was arrested Wednesday on charges of six counts of third-degree burglary, five counts of theft, five counts of criminal trespass and one charge of ongoing criminal misconduct.


Law enforcement investigations have connected a Coon Rapids man arrested June 16 with a string of burglaries and thefts from rural residences in northern Guthrie County.

Shawn Richard Knudsen, 29, of 1589 Dogwood Ave., Coon Rapids, was charged with six counts of third-degree burglary, five counts of theft, five counts of criminal trespass and one charge of ongoing criminal misconduct.

The Guthrie County Sheriff’s office received a report June 2 of a stolen truck and trailer and tools from rural Bayard.

The stolen truck was stopped by the West Des Moines Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s office prior to its being reported stolen, and both agencies shared the driver’s information and bodycam footage with the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office.

Knudsen was subsequently arrested June 16 by the Woodward Police Department on the Guthrie County warrants. At the time of his arrest, Knudsen was driving a dirt bike that later proved to be stolen from a residence in rural Bayard.

Knudsen later admitted to stealing the truck, trailer and tools, and he told the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office where the truck and trailer were located. With the help of the Polk County Sheriff’s office and Des Moines Police Department, the truck and trailer were found and returned to their owner.

June 12 brought several reports from Bayard-area residents of stolen or missing items from their garages that fit the timeframe of the previous burglary.

Surveillance footage from a Kum and Go in West Des Moines helped the Guthrie County Sheriff’s office identify Knudsen as the suspect in the burglaries, and Knudsen later admitted to taking the items out of each person’s garage.

Using a stolen bank card, Knudsen alleged bought $50.06 worth of fuel as well as “two games online for $30 each, $25.98 on the dating app ‘Bumble’ and a purchase of $2.13 for something on Amazon.com,” according to court records.

On June 21 another person reported the theft of a dirt bike and generator from rural Bayard that again fit the timeframe of the other burglaries. The dirt bike that was stolen matched the description of the dirt bike Knudsen was operating when arrested by the Woodward Police Department.

Further investigation showed that it was the same dirt bike, and once again Knudsen admitted to being in possession of stolen property.

Investigations are ongoing in which Knudsen is a person of interest.

Knudsen is held in the Guthrie County Jail on a $50,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 24 in Guthrie County District Court.

Knudsen was convicted of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent in 2014 in Greene County District Court. He was convicted of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent in 2014 in Shelby County District Court. He was arrested at Prairie Meadows May 2 on a charge of first-degree in connection with a stolen motor vehicle. The case is pending in Polk County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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