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Metal thieves go big, steal building

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Small business owner Lance Akers could hardly believe his own eyes as he paced over the site where his storage building had once stood in western Minnesota, roughly 20 miles southeast of Fargo, Forum Communications reports.

And it took him two minutes to convince a police dispatcher that this crime was real: Someone had stolen the entire 32-by-48-foot steel structure near Baker, Minn., Forum reported.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” he told Forum.

Akers hadn't owned the building long – it wasn't insured yet, he said, estimating the loss at roughly $10,000.

Akers had planned to move the structure to a site near his home northeast of Pelican Rapids, Minn., and use it to house a new retail venture as part of his business, Akers Landscaping. He'd stripped the tin siding and metal roofing off in preparation for hauling it away. “Somebody beat me to it," he told Forum.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has no leads yet in a case Detective Jason Hicks admitted to Forum was "strange."

Akers is in touch with staffers in the office of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., co-sponsor of the Metals Theft Prevention Act.

“I flat-out offered to testify,” Akers told Forum. “Whoever did this took metal theft to a whole new level.”

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