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Warrant issued for suspect charged in Nevis break-ins

Brian J. Liimatta

A warrant has been issued for a career criminal charged in numerous Nevis break-ins that occurred nearly 18 months ago. The defendant failed to appear Monday in Hubbard County District Court.

Brian J. Liimatta, 30, of Walker and Akeley, has been convicted 26 times of various felony, misdemeanor and traffic offenses since 1997.

He faces several felony charges of Third Degree Burglary in connection with the Nevis break-ins, according to Assistant Hubbard County Attorney Jonathan Frieden.

Frieden asked Judge Paul Rasmussen to issue a warrant when a mailed summons came back from Cass County as "not deliverable."

"Send it to Cass County for personal service," Rasmussen advised in issuing the warrant.

A number of Nevis Main Street businesses were broken into and damaged during the early morning hours of June 14, 2009. Cash and liquor was taken. Many businesses had broken windows or doors where a heavy object was thrown through them to gain access to the interior.

Liimatta, who was suspected early on, was arrested June 17, 2009, hiding on a downtown Walker roof at midnight when citizens spotted him near a pelican landmark on a café rooftop and called police.

"We're waiting for the evidence to be processed by the state lab," Homer said. When asked if Liimatta had a criminal record, Homer answered, "oh yeah. He's well known to us."

Liimatta's criminal history shows one arrest in Anoka County, one in Becker, 17 arrests in Cass County, one in Crow Wing, one in Hennepin, one in Morrison and one in Otter Tail County. His prior convictions range from DWI arrests, fleeing, several assault convictions, two convictions for criminal damage to property, several disorderly conduct charges, an escape charge and assaulting a peace officer.

The vehicle allegedly used in burglaries was seized in 2009 for crime analysis. That vehicle was seen on a Nevis convenience store videotape taken the morning of the burglaries.

Liimatta was prosecuted in Cass County on an unrelated crime. It is not clear why he was not transferred to Hubbard County to face the burglary charges afterward.