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Alleged Dimock Cheese burglar charged, owes state thousands from prior convictions

Craig Stolze currently owes the state thousands in restitution after multiple convictions.

Briggs Havlik packages cheese in the new Dimock Cheese building in Dimock. (Abbie Lambert / Republic)
Briggs Havlik packages cheese during the Dimock Fun Day on Saturday afternoon in the new Dimock Cheese building in Dimock. (Abbie Lambert / Republic)

OLIVET — Authorities have charged a man in connection with a weekend burglary at Dimock Cheese, and the man’s criminal history reveals a pattern of crime across South Dakota and thousands of dollars in unpaid restitution to the state.

Craig Stolze, 44, who has addresses in multiple states, was charged Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, with third degree burglary, first degree petty theft and intentional damage to private property, after authorities say he broke into and stole from the cheese shop.

An arrest affidavit from the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office says that authorities responded to a report of a break-in at Dimock Dairy’s cheese store at approximately 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 19. Upon arrival, an employee of the store showed deputies video of a man breaking into the rear door of the building.

The affidavit says the man stole two bank bags with $1,000 of cash and coins inside, and left the premises in a vehicle. The employee said that the man did not appear to be a current or former employee. Authorities were not able to immediately identify the man.

On the evening of Aug. 20, an addendum to the affidavit says that another Hutchinson County deputy received information that police in Huron had stopped a car matching the description of the vehicle seen on tape leaving the burglary in Dimock. Huron police did not know at the time of the stop that the vehicle may have been involved.

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The traffic stop in Huron led Hutchinson County deputies to suspect Stolze of the Dimock burglary, based on matching tattoos, and Stolze was later arrested.

Stolze’s criminal record includes multiple criminal convictions and a history of unpaid restitution to the state.

In 2012, Stolze, which court documents say also goes by the name Corey Bunch, was found guilty of third degree burglary in Jerauld County, and in 2017 was convicted of tampering with a video lottery machine in Clay County.

As of Wednesday morning, Stolze currently owes the state more than $8,000 in restitution from at least three convictions.

It is unclear whether Stolze is currently in custody. As of Wednesday morning, the state’s Unified Judicial System shows an active warrant for his arrest.

No court date has been set for his pending charges in Hutchinson County.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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