December 21, 2016

Twin brothers from Coon Rapids are accused of stealing more than $34,000 worth of hogs from two confinements they managed in the past four years.

Justin and Jerome Boblett, 20, were charged this month with felony theft for stealing more than 250 hogs from two farms since March 2013 and selling them.

Their friend, Zachary Eugene Sukovaty, 21, of Scranton, also faces a felony charge for the trio’s most recent alleged theft of 22 hogs in September, when he is accused of acting as a lookout while the Bobletts loaded the animals into a smallish livestock trailer south of Carroll.

The Bobletts borrowed their mother’s pickup truck for the heist because both of theirs were broken down, Carroll County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Hannasch said.

It’s unclear what the Bobletts bought with their bounty.

“They let the hogs sit in the trailer overnight, and one died,” Hannasch said of the September theft.

The Bobletts sold the animals to Lynch Livestock just west of Carroll. Hannasch used Lynch’s sales records to track the thefts over the years.

The Bobletts — who were 16 at the time of the first theft — admitted to stealing the hogs, Hannasch said.

They first allegedly stole from Maschoff Farms, for which they both managed a hog confinement. Later, Justin Boblett managed a confinement for Joseph Danner, from whom they most recently stole, according to a criminal complaint.

Justin Boblett made $12 per hour working for Danner, he wrote in a request for a court-appointed attorney.

“It happens more frequently than you’d think,” Sheriff Ken Pingrey said of hog thefts. “These hog confinements are getting so big that it’s hard to notice when some go missing.”

The felony theft charges the three men face are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.