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Man arrested after thefts in Osakis

A local man is in Douglas County Jail after his alleged involvement in thefts and burglary in Osakis.

According to Osakis Police, a burglary was reported on August 24 at a home on the 200 block of 2nd Avenue West. The homeowner said she heard a noise around 3:30 a.m. in her house and when she went to check, she found a man standing in her kitchen looking in her refrigerator. She reportedly confronted the man, pulled off his mask and he ran from the house. She reported fishing poles and a gas can had been stolen from her garage.

Then, during the early morning of August 29, residents of the 200 block of West Main Street in Osakis reported items had been stolen from their vehicle — a speaker, amplifier and CD case. Shortly after the theft was reported, a resident reported a suspicious person at a nearby property with a flashlight. Law enforcement searched the area, but they were unable to locate the suspect.

A couple hours later that same morning, around 4:45 a.m., the witness who earlier reported a "suspicious person" was standing with several people on 2nd Avenue West near Main Street when she spotted the person she had just reported. Another person approached the man, who walked away. The group of witnesses watched the suspect walk into apartment 7 at the Lakeland Motel in Osakis. Standing outside the motel, the group of witnesses recognized the stolen speakers in a car parked nearby and called law enforcement. The woman who encountered the suspect in her kitchen arrived on scene and identified him as the man she had seen.

The 21-year-old Osakis man was arrested and police later recovered all items reportedly stolen from the house, garage and vehicle. All stolen property was recovered and returned to the victims.

According to Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson, he and his officers greatly appreciate the help of the witnesses that night. However, he said, "We want to tell people don't confront a suspect. Note what you see, get a [license] plate and description and call law enforcement. We're glad [the witnesses] did what they did, but people need to be careful. If you witness a crime, report it and call dispatch."

The suspect was due in Douglas County District Court Friday.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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