A Lakeville man faces a after police say he stole steel grates from several Dakota County car washes, and then sold the iron to metal recycling companies for cash.
Matthew Charles Kucera, 29, was charged by the Dakota County Attorney's Office with one count of felony theft, and could face five years in jail if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, police tracked down Kucera after video surveillance from one of the many victimized car washes showed a black Nissan Frontier pickup with a license plate registered to Kucera at the scene of a theft.
During the investigation, went to a metal recycling company in Inver Grove Heights, and learned Kucera is a daily customer, selling scrap metal for cash, the complaint said.
On Dec. 28, the complaint says authorities waited for Kucera at the metal recycling facility to arrest him. When he showed up, Kucera was driving the Nissan Frontier and wearing a sweat shirt with a unique logo identified in the surveillance video from at least one of the thefts.
He was arrested, and when his vehicle was searched, the truck's bed was full of steel fence posts, metal pipes, and street light poles.
Kucera, who is still in Dakota County Jail, will have his first hearing at 9 a.m on Jan. 31.