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West Salem man charged with stealing swords, cleaning products and possessing meth

West Salem man charged with stealing swords, cleaning products and possessing meth

Samuel Kotek

Samuel Kotek 

A West Salem man was arrested June 23 for drug possession and theft of assorted items including Windex and a case of swords.

Samuel Kotek, 40, appeared via Zoom in La Crosse County Circuit Court Thursday on charges of possession of methamphetamine, criminal damage to property, two counts of misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor bail jumping-new crime and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint, during June Kotek was accused of stealing two bicycles and catalytic converters from strangers’ vehicles, and Windex and peroxide from Ace Hardware in La Crescent.

Kotek admitted stealing all the items but the car parts, and upon questioning by police asserted he had also taken ice fishing equipment from an unlocked vehicle in La Crescent and a case of swords, the latter which had been reported stolen from an Onalaska storage shed, according to a criminal complaint.

During their questioning of Kotek at his father’s residence, officers discovered a duffle bag owned by Kotek that contained 1.5 grams of methamphetamine, a smoking device and a lighter.

Kotek was given a $3,000 signature bond by Judge Ramona Gonzalez.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at


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