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2 teens, father suspected of stealing from fish houses

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Two teenagers and one of their fathers are suspected of stealing from fish houses on a Crow Wing County lake.

Around 10:20 p.m. Friday, officials responded to Rice Lake in Brainerd after an angler reported people attempted to break into his fish house, a news release says.

He believed the people involved were still on the lake, and eventually police made contact with two juvenile males, ages 17 and 14, in a portable fish house, the sheriff's office told BringMeTheNews. The father of one of the juveniles, who was also on the lake, is believed to be involved as well, officials said.

Near the portable fish houses, investigators noticed "numerous items" believed to have been stolen from other shelters on the lake. Officials also found several fish houses that had been "forcibly entered" – they believe some of the stolen items came from these houses.

Lt. Joseph Meyer of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office told BringMeTheNews the list of items taken totals more than three pages, and includes: ice fishing equipment, ice augers, a radio, propane tanks and heaters, and cold weather clothing items.

The suspects haven't been arrested, but the sheriff's office has sent reports to the county attorney for possible charges.

This is the latest incident involving break-ins at fish houses in central Minnesota. Earlier this month, Benton County officials reported someone tried to break into six fish houses in one night on Rice Lake, but at the time nothing was reported stolen.

The attempted thefts had Benton County officials encouraging people to bring all items of value with them when they leave their fish houses to help prevent thefts.

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