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Burglary suspects set for Sept. 13 plea hearing in cabin break-in spree

Mitchell Raymond Bugge1 / 2
Michael Gene Moorhouse2 / 2

A plea hearing is set for Sept. 13 in the case of two Park Rapids men charged in a rash of cabin burglaries over the winter and spring.

Michael Gene Moorhouse, 29, and Mitchell Raymond Bugge, 38, each face more than 20 felony counts of burglary.

A plea deal is in the works, attorneys for both sides told Judge Paul Rasmussen Monday in court.

The burglaries occurred around County Road 4, Highway 71, the Spider Lake area and Coon Lake Trail, according to the criminal complaint.

Bugge is additionally charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The two men were so prolific, the criminal complaint states, Bugge could remember addresses of cabins burglarized but not the items taken.

At least 18 cabins were broken into this spring, Bugge estimated.

According to the complaint, "Bugge states he and Moorhouse would break into the residences on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights because they figured the residences would be empty.

"Bugge stated he and Moorhouse broke into the residences with the intention of taking property and having a garage sale this summer."

Authorities confiscated a black bag with flashlights and gloves allegedly used in the break-ins.

According to the complaint, Moorhouse estimated the pair had broken into at least 22 residences.

Moorhouse took Dep. Jeff Stacey on a riding tour to identify the properties broken into, identifying 22 homes.

Moorhouse faces 22 counts of Second Degree Burlary, each punishable by a maximum 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine upon conviction.

Bugge faces 23 counts of Second Degree Burglary and the charge of a felon in possession of a firearm.

Bugge has been convicted of domestic assault, Fifth Degree Assault and a prior burglary charge.

The two appeared in Hubbard County District Court Monday.