GOVERNMENT CENTER––A Minnesota man will have his day in court in January.
Jonathon Laboda, 33, Vadnais Heights, Minn., was charged with two felony counts of burglary of a building or dwelling, one felony count of attempting to flee or elude an officer and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property in two separate cases.
Laboda has been in custody of Burnett County and is currently being housed in Barron County Jail. He was back in the Burnett County courthouse last week for a scheduled plea hearing in both cases.
The trial is set to start 13 months after the crimes were committed in December 2018.
The jury trial was initially scheduled for two days, however Laboda’s attorney Kevin Schmidt argued they may need three days to account for all the evidence.
“In one case there is a long video involved and in the other there are multiple witnesses,” Schmidt told Judge Melissia Mogen on Friday September 13.
Laboda is charged with burglarizing a bar in Webb Lake and a restaurant in Siren in two separate cases.
According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 11 law enforcement was dispatched to Gilder’s Bar on Long Lake Road in Webb Lake. The owner of the bar told officers when customers arrived that morning they noted it looked like the bar had been broken into.
Witnesses of the scene observed empty beer bottles and other bottles on the floor behind the bar. A number of cabinets were left open and the owner alleged the cash register was taken off the bar and was found in pieces on the floor.
The owner continued to tell authorities that the suspect allegedly took power tools from the bar in an attempt to break into the bar’s gambling machine, jukebox, pool table and even arcade games.
All of those machines were allegedly broken by the attempted break in besides an arcade racing game.
Officers then saw surveillance video. They allegedly saw the suspect just before 5 a.m. drive past the bar then turned around and drove onto the driveway on the side of the bar.
The complaint continues to explain the suspect allegedly took the surveillance camera down inside the bar. The exterior camera showed the suspect backing their car up to the basement door pulling a wagon.
Video then allegedly shows the suspect making a number of trips from the bar to the car.
The suspect vehicle in the video is a “light-colored Dodge Journey” but the license plate was not readable.
A similar car was initiated in a chase later that month.
In another case, Laboda allegedly burglarized Tesora’s Restaurant in Siren. According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 22 around 8 a.m. the sheriff’s department was advised that there was a man wearing a ski mask inside Tesora’s Restaurant in Siren. The man was allegedly breaking into the cash machine located inside the restaurant.
The suspect drove off in what was described as a “gold colored minivan or SUV” and was headed north on Highway 35. Sheriff’s deputies then responded to the area.
When they located the suspected vehicle, they activated their emergency lights and “the subject accelerated rapidly.”
The complaint goes on to say the suspected vehicle went through the ditch on Highway 35 and then sideways into the southbound lane of Highway 35.
The department received another call from a resident on County Road D who stated that the suspected vehicle had pulled into their driveway.
Deputies followed fresh tracks that led them to an empty gold colored SUV. The K-9 officer was then called to the scene. The K9 followed the scent east. Laboda was later found in a garage on Midtown Road and taken into custody. At that point Laboda told deputies he had swallowed a bag of heroin.
Laboda allegedly had $2,930 in his pocket when he was arrested.
Officers spoke with Tesora’s owner, who indicated a safe containing $2,000 had been stolen and that approximately $900 was missing from the registers.
Laboda’s three-day jury trial is set to begin January 14. There will be a status conference in November to find out if Schmidt and Laboda will have both cases on trial together or separate. A pre-trial conference is also scheduled for December.