Colfax man charged with stealing $500 in coins, cash

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  A 28-year-old Colfax man has been accused of stealing $500 in coins and cash from a woman he works with at Mom’s Restaurant and Pub in Colfax.

Kevin M. Barstad made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court July 30 on one felony count of burglary.

Barstad allegedly stole coins and cash from the home of Patricia Houser.

According to the criminal complaint, Houser told Dunn County deputies that on the evening of June 26, she had noticed that her coin box containing approximately $200 in change was missing from her home in the Town of Colfax.

Houser also reported that $300 in cash in the top of her jewelry box also was missing.

The coin box was described as round with flowers on the top.

Houser told deputies she believed that the person who had taken the money was her boyfriend’s son, Kevin Barstad.

Barstad works at Mom’s Restaurant and had called in sick to work on June 26.

Mark Barstad, Kevin’s father, told Houser that Kevin had called him that day, asking for a jump start for his vehicle, and seemed to be in a rush because he said he had to get to the bank in Ridgeland before it closed.

Dunn County Deputies went to Security National Bank in Ridgeland where a bank employee recognized Kevin Barstad from a photograph and said that late on June 26, about 4:30 p.m., he had brought in a round box to get cash for the coins inside, which totaled $93.67.

The bank employee said there were other items in the box as well, such as gold coin dollars and fifty-cent pieces.

Deputies were able to identify Barstad on security camera footage from the bank.

Houser called the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department on June 28 to report that Barstad had shown up at the restaurant for work.

Deputies arrested Barstad for burglary, and at the Dunn County Jail, Barstad asked to make telephone contact with his girlfriend, Letitia Rice.

Two deputies and a jailer overheard Barstad say at one point, “I am stupid, and it occurred two days ago.”

Later on, when a deputy interviewed Barstad, the defendant said, “I already (expletive) admitted it, and you guys (expletive) heard it. What is the point of me admitting it to it now when I already admitted to it?”

Barstad went on to tell deputies that he had not gone to Houser’s home to steal money, but rather, had gone there looking for a tire pressure machine in order to put air in his tires, although he could not find one.

When asked why he had done it, Barstad said because he “was stupid,” “was slipping back into his old ways” and that he had used the money at a bar because it was Leticia’s 21st birthday.

Barstad insisted that he had never taken any cash from Houser, only the coins, but that whatever amount Houser said he had taken, he would pay it back.

Houser said that a digital camera and a diamond ring were still located in the place where she had left them at her home.

Bail for Barstad was set with a $1,000 signature bond on July 1. The Honorable Judge Rod Smeltzer also ordered that Barstad have no contact with Houser’s residence or with Mom’s Restaurant.

Barstad is scheduled for another appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court on September 24.