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Accused burglar pleads not guilty in Freeborn County

Jabar Morarend

Officers say they tracked him by his footprints in the snow.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 3:19 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 3:26 PM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A man arrested after police followed footprints in the snow is pleading not guilty.

45-year-old Jabar Pedro Morarend of Albert Lea is charged with 1st degree burglary. He was arrested on January 26 after officers responded to a report of a suspicious person and possible burglary.

The victim told law enforcement she woke to pounding on her door and ringing her doorbell. The woman says she got scared and went into her garage to leave. She says when she opened the garage door, she saw and male and female at the end of her driveway.

Officers searched the home and found the dresser drawers in the master bedroom were all partially opened.

A line of footprints was seen from the patio area around the south side of the house. Authorities say the footprints had a distinctive pattern on the sole. The tracks led behind the house to a fence, with the snow cleared from the top of the fence as if someone climbed over. Officers say the tracks resumed on the other side of the fence, continuing toward Highway 13 until eventually stopping at a home.

The owners of the home gave officers permission to enter and they says they found Morarend in the basement behind a bed sheet and sitting next to the washing machine. Officers say a pair of wet shoes behind the washing machine matched the tracks in the snow.
Morarend is scheduled to stand trial on April 6.

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