Should local anglers be concerned of ice house burglaries? - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kerry Klatt

Should local anglers be concerned of ice house burglaries?

ALBERT LEA, MN (FOX 47) -- The Hennepin County Sheriff's office is investigating a string of ice house burglaries.

Deputies say eleven fish houses were broken into on Lake Minnetonka.

Doors and windows had been broken, and the estimated damage is about $7,000.

These reports have some local ice fisherman checking their valuables.

Ice fisherman took to the lake Saturday morning in Albert Lea.

Ice fisherman Steve Kauffmann traded in his permanent ice house for a portable one a few years ago, "We had a permanent house on Clear Lake, up by Waseca, and it got broke into.  I never leave anything of value in the house."

Kauffmann says he hasn't put up a permanent house since the break-in, saying it's too much of a risk and hassle.

Kauffmann says, "If you have a permanent house you gotta go out and maintain it, you gotta go out two times a week, at least, to maintain it and make sure everything is okay."

Another fisherman, with a portable house, says he's heard too many stories about break-ins to own an ice house.

Kevin Stenzel says, "If I had a permanent house I wouldn't leave anything in it because I don't want to have my equipment stolen, too much of it is valuable and I don't want to replace it."

Stilll, there are plenty of ice houses on the lake.

Troy Studier owns a permanent ice house out on Albert Lea Lake, and he says he's not too worried about people breaking in because he has a double-lock, here, he says his main concern is might be someone breaking through the window.

Studier says, "Yep, mainly about the windows and the door's pretty good, solid and it's just about the windows."

Some ice house owners say even with a good lock on the door, they won't risk leaving valuables in the house.

Ice house owner Bob Knutson says, "I'll probably just keep a few things, but like the stuff that's kind of valuable I'll take with me back home."

While Albert Lea hasn't had problems with ice house burglaries this winter, some fisherman say, why take the risk?

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