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Police nab suspected burglars near Nelson

Police captured two suspected thieves Wednesday following a brief manhunt through a cornfield near Nelson. Law enforcement officials arrested 20-year-old Cody James Lien and Dustin Curtis Stephan, 25, on felony burglary charges, said Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen.

He said both men were targeted as part of an ongoing investigation related to a string of recent burglaries and break-ins in Parkers Prairie and Douglas County. More arrests are expected.

As part of the investigation, police have been surveying a house in Nelson they knew Lien and Stephan had been frequenting, Wolbersen said.

While driving past the property Wednesday, Deputy Brandon Cruz spotted the suspects' vehicle; he waited for the men to leave and followed them, Wolbersen said.

The men sped west on Hope Road before heading north on Homestead Road, at times going more than 90 mph, before pulling into a random driveway and fleeing the vehicle. Cruz immediately tackled Stephan, while Lien headed for a nearby cornfield, Wolbersen said.

"[Lien] ran through the cornfield, into the woods, through a grove of trees and into a soybean field," Wolbersen said, "and just lied down, apparently."

Back up arrived on the scene, and police dog Caesar, along with handler Deputy Wade Lerfald, began tracking Lien.

Another deputy searched from the air in a helicopter provided by a private company.

"What I think happened is that the noise of the helicopter flushed Lien out," Wolbersen said. "He just gave up and walked out of the field."

The Alexandria Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assisted the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.