Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office has dismissed felony theft charges filed against the former owner of a Rochester body shop. 

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He was charged last Spring after the Rochester Police Department received a report from Virgil’s Auto Repair and Towing regarding a stolen check. An owner of the business indicated the check had been deposited into a different account in January. 

Investigators subpoenaed the bank records and learned that the account that received the check belonged to a former owner of the business, identified as 45-year-old Royal James Johnson of Rochester. 

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The criminal complaint accused Johnson of depositing 16 checks intended for the business into his account. The checks totaled $7,984.01. 

photo credit: Ingram Publishing
photo credit: Ingram Publishing
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Johnson told police he was still the owner of Virgil’s and said it was a shell company that’s no longer operating at its location in the 1600 block of 3rd Ave. Southeast. 

Johnson said he cashed the checks and had them forwarded from the body shop to an address under his control, according to the complaint. 

In August Johnson pleaded not guilty to one felony count of mail theft and a felony theft count. 

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The trial was set to start next week, however the prosecution dismissed those charges during a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday morning in Olmsted County Court. 

The motion to dismiss says the state had insufficient evidence to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

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