La Farge police arrest 29-year-old man in vending machine thefts

LA FARGE, Wis. – On Thursday, July 20, at approximately 6:26 a.m. the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office was notified of vandalism to a soda machine that occurred at the Village of La Farge Park.

La Farge Chief of Police Steven Palmer responded to the reported vandalism and upon further investigation discovered a total of two soda machines had been damaged. Law enforcement reports that the proceeds from the vending machines are used by the La Farge School District.

La Farge police also report that they also discovered a lock to an “Iron Ranger” had been cut and money had been taken from the Iron Ranger. A coin box for a shower was also damaged/removed and money had been taken.

During the investigation 29-year-old Michael Brown of La Farge was identified as a suspect. brown was later apprehended by the La Farge Police Department. Brown was arrested and booked on potential charges of:

Burglary (Class F Felony)

Possession of Burglarious Tools (Class I Felony)

Criminal Damage to Property (Class I Felony)

Entry Into Locked Coinbox (Misdemeanor)

Theft (Misdemeanor)

La Farge police say formal charges will be sought through Vernon County District Attorney Timothy J. Gaskell and the investigation is ongoing.

Chief Palmer stated he would like to thank the following entities for their assistance in this investigation: Village of La Farge Employees who were instrumental in identifying and preserving both physical and digital evidence. The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office’s Deputies and Jail Staff for their outstanding support throughout this investigation.

La Farge School District Staff for their cooperation and assistance during this investigation.

Pepsi and Coca Cola Representatives who responded quickly and worked to get the vending machines back into service.

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