Barricaded man surrenders, may be linked to burglaries

Lincoln County, S.D. - One man is behind bars Wednesday night after barricading himself inside a home, causing an hour’s long situation with authorities.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office responded to the home southwest of Harrisburg around 12:00 Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies interrupted a burglary in progress.

“His vehicle was spotted in a tree belt,” Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Swenson said. “The deputies went into the yard, checked the vehicle. He wasn’t in there and they suspected that he was in the house because of a door that was partially open.”

Authorities then set up a perimeter.

That soon turned into the subject, Oleg Kovnir refusing to come out.

He’s being charged with 2nd degree burglary and other charges will likely be added, but authorities said Kovnir might be linked to other recent burglaries.

“The scene is being processed, his vehicle is being processed,” Swenson said. “So we're assuming we are going to find other stolen property.”

Swenson said Kovnir had been suspected of stealing guns in the past, so swat was called in.

For hours Kovnir didn’t make any communication with authorities.

“We started getting some communication that he was communicating with others,” Swenson said. “After a while he did make contact with the swat team that was in front of the house and they negotiated him out and he gave up peacefully.”

But, authorities don’t believe this is the first time Kovnir’s burglarized a home.

“We’ve been taking some reports throughout the county of rural residential burglaries and those burglaries are occurring during the day,” Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Zachry Cegelske said last Friday. “The doors are being forced in on these homes.”

Sheriff Swenson said Wednesday’s incident could be tied to a string of burglaries recently in Minnehaha County.

At least five homes in the communities of Brandon, Hartford, Humboldt, Garretson, and Renner were targeted during the day when no one was home.

“This suspect is obviously was reported in our area,” Swenson said. “So we've kind of been on the lookout for him. We suspect him in other burglaries.”

Swenson said authorities have been working closely with each other to try and find the person responsible for the burglaries.

He adds having multiple agencies on scene Wednesday, made for a successful outcome.

“Obviously a successful apprehension,” Swenson said. “Nobody was hurt. So the communications and the relationships between other departments is critical.”

Sheriff Swenson said the homeowners were not home when it happened.

One of the homeowners tells KSFY News they were in town when they got the call about this situation.

Sheriff Swenson said nothing was damaged inside the home.