Man facing theft charge

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

Devin Eugene Haegeman, 26, has been charged with theft by swindle, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Aug. 10, a Fairmont police officer was contacted by an adult male who indicated he was calling on behalf of an elderly female family member. He said the woman had hired a contractor, Haegeman, to install fence on her property. The man said the woman had provided Haegeman with a check for about $1,600 as a down payment for contracted services in late July.

The man said the agreed-upon start date was early August. He reported that no work had been completed on the project and they had lost contact with Haegeman since providing him with the deposit check.

The man also said he spoke with employees at Menards in Mankato to inquire whether the products had been ordered by Haegeman. He said he was informed by the employees that they had dealings with Haegeman in the past and they no longer accepted checks from him due to past issues.

On Aug. 21, the officer spoke with Haegeman about the incident. At that time, the officer set up an interview with Haegeman, who was to show up at the Martin County Law Enforcement Center to provide a statement on the matter. Haegeman failed to show up for the interview and never made any attempts to contact the officer to reschedule.

On Sept. 3, the officer took a recorded statement from the woman. She said Haegeman did not drop off any materials when he agreed to and made multiple excuses as to why. She said she later called Menards and was told they would not even accept a check from Haegeman.

On Nov. 15, the officer again attempted to contact Haegeman to obtain a statement. Haegeman advised the officer he would come to the Law Enforcement Center on Nov. 23. Haegeman did not show up for the appointment or contact the officer.

On Dec. 5, the officer contacted the man to see if Haegeman had made any attempts to rectify the issue. The man said he had been in contact with Haegeman via text messaging and Haegeman had agreed to refund the entire deposit amount and void the contract. The man also said Haegeman never followed through on any of this and stopped communication.