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Officers kept busy with thefts, chase

BY Sarah smith

A lot of nefarious activities kept law enforcement agents busy last weekend and the cooperation of those agencies led to the arrest of three juveniles and one adult who are all facing a litany of Hubbard County and surrounding county charges.

Prosecutors are still sorting through all the criminal activities to assess charges.

According to Park Rapids police Chief Terry Eilers: “It originally started in Mahnomen. They stole a car up there, then they did some burglaries around Detroit Lakes and down that way and we have some stuff in the stolen cars and then they went up to Bemidji and did some stuff up there and then they came here and stole a car and it got stuck in a snowbank so they lit it on fire and then took a pickup down the road, then they went back over to Osage, where they had two of the cars stashed and then we ended up in a halfway chase, then a foot chase and stuff like that,” he said.

Eilers said the adult suspect, who is not named yet because he has not been charged, has a prolific history around the Park Rapids area and may have a connection to the Holiday Station Store robbery late last year.

“We caught them in the pickup and they won’t even admit to taking the pickup,” Eilers said of the exasperation in dealing with the group. “You talk to him and he tells you to go screw yourself.

“He won’t talk to cops because cops are all nuts,” Eilers said, summarizing the conversation with the suspects.

“When he’s in jail we don’t have any break-ins, car break-ins or car thefts,” the chief said. “And then when he gets out, between him and his brother we have all kinds of stuff being stolen from cars and busted windows so we throw them back in jail for a week and nothing’s busted up and they get out” and the cycle starts anew.

Two State Patrol officers, Brett Kent and Dion Pederson, found the cars, Eilers said. “When they were looking at the cars the pickup came by them so that’s when they (the suspects) baled with the pickup so we ended up with Dep. Jeff Stacey pursuing by foot and Dion used a snowmobile and chased them down from the other end and they ended up finding them in a deer stand so they pulled them out of there so it was a couple three hours” from start to finish.

Eilers then attempted to sort out the mess.

“Saturday and Sunday were the break-ins and then the car got burnt Sunday night – Monday morning to not leave fingerprints or DNA in the car.”

Between Becker and Hubbard Counties, the State Patrol and conservation officers, the case was ready for sorting out. It was still being sorted by press time Friday.

“The cold weather has kind of shut things down,” Eilers said. “Gives us time to catch our breath.”

“We have been busy,” texted Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes, reiterating the weekend craziness. “Stolen vehicles. Chases.  People being put in jail. Lots of arraignments...”

Meanwhile Park Rapids police joined the search for an armed robber that struck the Osage Liquor Store Saturday night.

Eilers said the description matches a man released the day before from the Hubbard County jail, so that lead is being explored.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364