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Icehouse break-ins prompt warning

If you have a basic icehouse like this, Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer advises leaving it unlocked to prevent burglar damage. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)

At least half a dozen Hubbard County icehouses have been broken into so far, and more may have gone unreported.

"They take fishing tackle, poles, spears, augers and even stoves and propane tanks," said Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon issued a public warning last week after a rash of break-ins in his county were reported following the weekend ice storm.

Homer said there could be several unreported thefts here because many anglers usually don't use their shacks regularly.

And he said it's a tough call to advise people to lock down their houses every time they leave the ice.

"Sometimes the bad guys will just bust through the door and do major damage if they want to get in," he said. In those cases, it's wiser to take the equipment with you when leaving the lake, he advises.

"Leave the door open so they can peek in to see there's nothing there," he suggested.

But many anglers have top-notch fishing quarters and that advice doesn't hold true, Homer said.

"Some of these fish houses nowadays are the next best thing to my home," he said. "Those, lock 'em up, obviously."

Every winter deputies respond to at least "a couple dozen" break-ins, Homer said.

"And those are just the ones reported."

He advises anglers to call the Sheriff's Department if an icehouse has been broken into.

"We're pretty sure it's the same guys doing it," he said. "We'd like to catch them."

Sarah Smith

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

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