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Grand Forks man sentenced to more than 7 years in prison in burglary case

CROOKSTON--A Grand Forks man was sentenced Wednesday in Polk County District Court to 95 months in prison for stealing a pistol from a Rhinehart Township garage.

Douglas John Ziegelmann

CROOKSTON-A Grand Forks man was sentenced Wednesday in Polk County District Court to 95 months in prison for stealing a pistol from a Rhinehart Township garage.

Douglas John Ziegelmann, 26, was charged with first-degree burglary, felony theft and second-degree burglary dwelling in 2014. He was dismissed on two of the charges Wednesday, but he was convicted of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to spend 95 months at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility.

Police received a call just before 1:30 a.m. Sept. 8, 2014, that someone was looking into a Rhinehart Township garage. When an officer was responding, he noticed a Chrysler 300 driving away from the area, so the officer followed it. The car stopped, backed up and pulled into the closest driveway. The officer shined a spotlight, but Ziegelmann ran away in the dark.

In the car, officers found a Springfield XDM .40 pistol under a blanket, pill bottles with Ziegelmann's name on them, three Pizza Corner pizzas and a marijuana pipe and grinder.

Police determined the pistol and its case were missing, along with three Pizza Corner pizzas from the freezer and an A&W root beer missing from the fridge in a Rhinehart garage. Police found the root beer on one of the garage shelves, and it was only three-quarters full. Police swabbed it for DNA and sent it to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for DNA testing.


Zeigelmann called police and said his Chrysler 300 was in his driveway the night of Sept. 8, but it was missing when he woke up at 6:30 a.m. the next day. Police asked Ziegelmann "how his car could have been stolen when he possessed both sets of keys for the vehicle and the alarm went off when police entered it," but Ziegelmann didn't have an explanation.

Police learned that Zeigelmann was on supervised release for federal probation at the time, and he tested positive for marijuana and amphetamines when he was booked into the East Grand Forks Police Department.

Ziegelmann was previously convicted in Minnesota of felony theft in 2010 and misdemeanor receiving stolen property 2011, among others. In North Dakota, he was convicted of felony theft of property in 2008, four counts of felony theft of property in 2009, two counts of felony theft of property in 2010, and another felony theft of property the same year. When he was 18, Grand Forks detectives determined Ziegelmann made almost $20,000 in purchases with credit cards numbers he obtained illegally.

In federal court, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in 2011.

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