Weather Forecast


Man sentenced for Adrian safe burglary

Christopher John Edward Bjerke

One of the people responsible for stealing a safe from an Adrian resident and bringing it back to Worthington was sentenced Tuesday and will spend the next six days in jail.

Christopher John Edward Bjerke, 18, was sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served 45 days now, with credit for time served, and 45 days a year from now. He will have the right to ask that the second set of days be abated when that time gets closer, but Judge Timothy Connell told him Tuesday that he had best get his life turned around before the judge would consider giving him a break.

"I know I messed up," Bjerke told Connell. "I would like to get done with this and move on with my life."

Bjerke and several others drove to Adrian in October 2008 with the purpose of stealing money from a safe. When they arrived, they found the safe could not be opened, so they decided to steal it. They allegedly used a lift in the man's garage to pick up the safe and put it in the victim's van. They then stole that, too.

They decided to put the safe in the back shed of the house of one of the participants, but when the home owner -- the mother of one of the perpetrators -- saw a strange van by that shed at an odd hour of the morning, she called authorities.

Bjerke was charged with second-degree burglary, two counts of felony level theft, two counts of receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty in April to second-degree burglary.

Because he served several days in jail after the arrest, and later served 20 days in jail in Cottonwood County after being arrested for driving while impaired, Bjerke only has to serve six days in jail before fulfilling his first 45-day term.

Connell let Bjerke know he was not impressed with the information on the pre-sentence investigation (PSI).

"Your PSI is not a hopeful rendering of your life so far," Connell stated. "You have no employment, you live with your mom, your girlfriend is pregnant and I see a string of drugs, alcohol and burglary."

Connell told Bjerke he had been coasting through life thus far, but now it was time to be an adult.

Connell's frustration was evident when Bjerke tried to interrupt and Connell told him in no uncertain terms that it was not his turn to talk, but to listen.

"This is an opportunity for you. If you continue to wander through life you are going to be back here," he stated.

Connell also reminded Bjerke that the sentence stayed was for 18 months in prison, and if Bjerke didn't shape up, he could end up serving that time.

Bjerke was ordered to do 50 hours of community service, pay his share of restitution, serve five years probation, serve six days now and 45 more beginning July 14, 2010.

"Unless I receive a letter from probation asking me to abate those 45 days," Connell added. "And don't even think about asking me to abate unless you have done the things we've talked about."

Marlon James Sands, 24, was also charged in burglary case, and is currently scheduled for a jury trial in October. Jorge Luis Saenz Jr. pleaded guilty of third-degree burglary and theft in March, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation. Alicia Ann Meyers, 20, is also scheduled for a jury trial in October.