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Two men charged in burglary ring, Becker County sheriff says arrests may clear as many as 50 cases

Two area men have been charged with a string of house, lake cabin and garage burglaries, including one home in which the occupants were sleeping.

Jesse Michael Reed, 18, of 616 Pine Tree Drive, Perham, has been charged in Becker County District Court with five felonies -- first-degree burglary, other person present; second-degree burglary of a dwelling; theft of a motor vehicle; third-degree burglary; and financial transaction card fraud.

Reed appeared Tuesday before District Judge Peter Irvine, who set bail at $75,000 and set his next court appearance for Monday.

Reed is accused of entering a residence Friday evening, while the occupants were sleeping. He allegedly rummaged through a purse and stole cash and a credit card, then used the credit card to purchase $1,500 in goods at the Detroit Lakes Kmart, and also used it at Stop-N-Go.

He is charged with stealing a 2005 Cadillac that was parked in the driveway.

And he is accused of being involved in a garage burglary in which a wake board, golf clubs, golf bags and other items were stolen.

Mitchell Keith Reller, 18, of 1060 West Lake Drive, Detroit Lakes has been charged with three felony counts -- second-degree burglary of a dwelling; receiving stolen property over $2,500; and third-degree burglary.

On Friday evening, Reller was allegedly involved in a residential burglary in which TV sets, a computer and jewelry were stolen, as well as being involved in the garage burglary with Reed.

Reller appeared Tuesday before Judge Irvine, who set bail or bond at $30,000 and set his next court appearance for Monday.

Both men allegedly admitted being involved in the burglaries and many of the stolen items were allegedly found at Reller's home, along with other known stolen property totaling more than $5,000.

Sheriff Tim Gordon said the two, along with an underage girl (who has been released to her parents) and possibly others, are suspects in nearly 50 burglaries and break-ins in the Detroit Lakes and Perham areas.

"These folks have been pretty busy the past 6-8 weeks," he said.

Gordon said he was concerned about how the crimes were escalating -- from breaking into vacant lake homes to burglarizing unoccupied residential homes to entering homes while the occupants were sleeping.

"Our break came Saturday morning," he said, with a "very good description" by a store clerk of the suspects who had used the stolen credit card. They were arrested walking in downtown Detroit Lakes, and the stolen Cadillac was found nearby.

He praised a half-dozen deputies who worked on the case around the clock when it broke over the weekend -- Shane Richard, Ida Engel, Scot Blaine, Rob Wirtz and Luke Sweere. "They deserve recognition for their tenacity and hard work in the investigation," Gordon said.

"We were also able to solve a number of issues in the Perham area," he said. "We will be making more arrests."

When all is said and done, Gordon added, "I would not be surprised if more than four dozen cases were solved." Already between 30-35 cases are considered solved due to the arrests, including about 20 in the Perham area, he said.

Gordon asked victims of recent burglaries not to contact the sheriff's office. Individuals will be notified by the sheriff's office as property is recovered during the investigation.