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Men accused of robbing sheriff's house back in jail

Two young men awaiting trial on burglary charges were arrested last Thursday apparently living in a camper parked in the cattle barn at the Pierce County Fairgrounds.

Cody C. Muhlhausen and Timothy Joseph "TJ" Degroat, both 19, were charged Friday with felony bail jumping, entry into a locked building and misdemeanor theft. Bail for each was set at $5,000 cash, and both remained in the Dunn County Jail Monday afternoon.

Muhlhausen, who is the son of Pierce County Sheriff Everett Muhlhausen, and Degroat are among five teenagers accused of stealing over $2,000 and a handful of guns from the sheriff's house April 5.

A warrant was issued for Cody Muhlhausen's arrest after he failed to appear for an Aug. 24 hearing in the April case.

Degroat faces another felony charge. On Sept. 6, a criminal case was filed charging him with forging checks on his parents' account. At that time a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Sept. 7 Ellsworth police received information that a building at the fairgrounds had been entered and that two people were apparently staying in a bus or camper parked at the cattle barn, said Police Chief Greg Place.

He and two other officers searched the barn. Although they found no one in a camper, they did notice several articles of clothing there and saw that the camper was plugged in for electricity. Officers said they found Muhlhausen and Degroat, who both appeared to be sleeping, in a bus in the barn.

Police also found a scale, a brown wooden "dug out" that reportedly smelled of marijuana, a bottle of vodka and a purse that had been reported stolen.

According to court records, Muhlhausen's most recent address was Cannon Falls, Minn. Degroat told officers he had been staying at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Minneapolis.

Both men are scheduled for preliminary hearings next Monday on the most recent charges.

Muhlhausen's trial on the burglary charge is set for Nov. 7-8.