Two charged with theft for stealing from fish houses

Two men have been charged in connection with reports of theft from fish houses on Fannie Lake.

Ice augers, propane, fishing rods, shovels and more were stolen from fish houses on Fannie Lake and later recovered. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

Ice augers, propane, fishing rods, shovels and more were stolen from fish houses on Fannie Lake and later recovered. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

Robert Kenneth Harrison, 26, and Brock Richard Halbmaier, 20, both of Cambridge, were charged with felony theft Jan. 23 in Isanti County District Court.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office received several reports regarding a large number of break-ins at Fannie Lake just southeast of Cambridge, Investigator Rob Bowker said.

Windows and lights on several portable fish houses had been broken, and numerous items were reported missing, including ice augers, propane, fishing rods, shovels and more.

Deputies patrolled several lakes in the area last week with Safety and Rescue, informing fishermen of the break-ins and advised them to bring gear home.

Over the weekend, deputies again patrolled area lakes, including Fannie Lake and Skogman Lake.

“This time of the year, especially when the ice is really good, is when we have break-ins,” Bowker said. “We basically want to put the word out to the public to say it’s that time of the year, so please take things home with you. Don’t leave your fishing rods, your heaters, your augers and stuff like that out.”

Residents are encouraged to contact the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department at 763-689-2141 to recover stolen property.

Residents are encouraged to contact the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department at 763-689-2141 to recover stolen property.

On Sunday, Jan. 20, the Sheriff’s Office again received calls that more thefts occurred at Fannie Lake on Saturday night.

People reported that two adult males had gone around to fish houses on Saturday asking how the fish were biting, Bowker said. They developed a person of interest at that time as a suspect.

After a post on Facebook asking the public to contact the Sheriff’s Office with any information on the suspect, Bowker said he received a call Monday, Jan. 21, from someone who believed she knew one of the people involved in the thefts.

Deputies went to his residence to arrest him, and at the residence they found ice augers that had been reported stolen. Bowker said the man admitted to being involved in the break-ins at fish houses on Fannie Lake both Jan. 14 and Jan. 19. He also turned over property from the break-ins.

Deputies then arrested the second man. A search of his van and residence turned over a large amount of fishing equipment stolen from Green Lake and Fannie Lake, Bowker said. Both men admitted to thefts at lakes in Isanti County.

The Isanti County Sheriff’s Office, Isanti County Safety and Rescue, the Cambridge Police Department and the public assisted in identifying the suspects in this case and recovering stolen property.

Bowker said he encourages victims to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 763-689-2141 to recover stolen property. If anyone observes suspicious activity on a lake, notify the Sheriff’s Office by calling the tip line at 763-691-2426.

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