$33K in Fishing Tackle Thefts From Boats Reported

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The Mille Lacs Sheriff's Office in Minnesota said a couple was arrested and charged in string of fishing tackle thefts, including 103 rods and reels, 60 tackle boxes.

Minnesota authorities have arrested and charged two people for allegedly stealing more than $33,000 in fishing tackle from boats in the Mille Lacs area earlier this month.

The accused thieves allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of fishing and boating equipment. (Photo courtesy of Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office)

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent C. Lindgren said in an emailed news release to Game & Fish that the suspects —  Matthias Munson, 28, and Natasha Rickard, 26, both of Monticello, Minn. —  have been charged with theft and receiving stolen property in Mille Lacs County and receiving stolen property in nearby Kanabec County.

Sheriff Lindgren said the charges stem from several reports of thefts around the Independence Day holiday.

Items reported stolen were:

  • 103 rod and reel combos
  • 60 tackle boxes
  • 5 GPS/Fish Finders
  • Also recovered were pieces of clothing, miscellaneous tackle, gear and a tow-behind inner tube
  • Total estimated value: $33,088

A majority of the property has been returned to the owners.

Lindgren said in a news release that reports of the string of crimes began in the early morning hours of July 3 when the Isle Police Department investigated two reports of thefts from fishing boats in the City of Isle.

A Wisconsin man reported he discovered around 6 a.m, that someone had gone through the storage compartments inside his boat and had taken fishing rods, fishing reels, tackle boxes and storage bins.

Around 6:45 a.m. that same morning, a Minnesota man told police a similar story of thefts from his boat.

"Both boats were parked outside of residences where people were staying and both owners checked their boats before turning in for the night," Lindgren said.

Another report came early on July 4.

Suspects Matthias Munson, 28, and Natasha Rickard, 26, both of Monticello, Minn. (Photos courtesy of Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office)

A Mille Lacs County deputy took a report around 12:27 a.m. from a man who said his property was stolen from his boat tied to the dock at Father Hannepin State Park, where the man and his family had been camping. Included in the reported thefts was a tow-behind inner tube that was left sitting in the boat.

Lindgren said a family member reportedly saw a white Chevrolet truck drive past the campsite with what appeared to be the same same inner tube in the bed of the truck. The man then discovered the thefts.

Later, around 2:21 a.m., an City of Isle police officer on patrol stopped a white pickup matching the description from the Father Hennepin State Park report. Several fishing rods, reels and tackle boxes were found in the back of the truck.

According to a July 19 news release:

The suspects indicated that they had been visiting a relative at McQuoid's Resort. A check of McQuoid's registry revealed that the names provided by the suspects were not staying at McQuoid's Resort. Mille Lacs County Deputies, assisting the Isle Police Department went to McQuoid's Resort and discovered more thefts from fishing boats and the victims were brought to the scene of the traffic stop of the suspect vehicle and they identified their stolen fishing equipment. At that time both suspects were detained and search warrants were drafted and executed on the suspects as well as on their camper where they were staying in Kanabec County by Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office Investigator's and Isle Police Officer's assisted by Aitkin County Sheriff's Office and Kanabec County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation continues. The sheriff's office asks if anyone has any information with regards to thefts from fishing boats to contact the office at 320-983-8250 or if in the City of Isle, 320-676-8507.

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