Kasson officer spoke to suspects in storage unit theft during alleged burglary; pair arrested days later

(ABC 6 News) – A West Concord couple appeared in Olmsted County Court Friday on burglary, property damage, and child endangerment charges.

Ashley Nicole Dahlgren, 38, and Johnathan Charles Kern, 45, each face charges of 2nd-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property, 3rd-degree damage to property, and neglect or endangerment of a child.

Kern faces an additional charge of felon in possession of ammunition or a firearm.

According to court documents, a Kasson police officer noticed two vehicles parked near Kasson Storage units (800 7th Street SE) at about 11 p.m. July 27.

The officer reported that he spoke to Dahlgren and Kern inside unit 42. The pair allegedly identified themselves and said they owned the cars. The officer reported that he warned the pair about recent storage unit break-ins, then left while the two allegedly went back into unit 42.

About 12 hours later, Kasson police responded to Kasson Storage on a burglary call. Units 42, 43, and 44 had been broken into, and while units 42 and 43 didn’t have anything missing, about $7,000 in tools, paintball gear, car parts, furniture, and toys had been stolen, according to court documents.

According to court documents, Kasson Storage revised the number of damaged units up to 5 a couple days later, and also confirmed that neither Dahlgren nor Kern were listed as renters for storage units 42, 43, or 44.

According to court documents, in-car camera footage of the July 27 conversation with Kasson police and the suspects recorded Dahlgren saying she’d had to crawl under the fence at McNeilus Storage units before, as her entry code didn’t work.

Kasson police contacted McNeilus Storage and determined that Dahlgren rented a unit and had used it about 20 minutes after speaking to the officer at Kasson Storage.

Surveillance video allegedly showed the pair unloading property matching the list of stolen items the Kasson Storage renter in unit 44 supplied.

According to court records, police applied for search warrants for Kern’s home and Dahlgren’s storage unit, as well as both vehicles.

Kasson police allege that they found several possibly stolen items from unit 44 in Dahlgren’s storage unit, and encountered Dahlgren, Kern, and three small children in a vehicle while on scene.

Dahlgren and Kern were arrested immediately, and the children were released to another individual.

Kasson police claim that they found burglary equipment in Dahlgren’s car, then more suspected stolen items inside Kern’s home.

Police also claim that Kern’s home was a “complete disaster, extremely filthy, insects everywhere,” and that children could not stay there safely.

Kern remains in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center. His bail was set Friday at $100,000 without conditions, or $75,000 with conditions.

Dahlgren, whose bail was set at $100,000 with no conditions or $30,000 with conditions, posted bail, according to online court records.

Dahlgren’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 14, while Kern is scheduled to appear Aug. 16.