Prison, probation in burglary spree caseThe couple had committed “so many break-ins to so many cabins, he was having trouble recalling which items came from which place.”
By: News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The couple had committed “so many break-ins to so many cabins, he was having trouble recalling which items came from which place.”
That was the recollection from a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy after interviewing Wesley Allen Lauinger last fall after he and Alisa Marie Peterson, both from the Detroit Lakes area, confessed to a rash of cabin and home burglaries in northern Lake County and the Ely area of St. Louis County.
Peterson, 20, was sentenced in Lake County district court to five years of probation Monday after facing 14 burglary counts in the spree that happened in the summer of 2009. All but one count, felony third-degree burglary, were dismissed. Failure to adhere to probation rules could mean a year and six months in prison. Conditions include no alcohol or drug use with random testing and no other crimes. She also faces restitution to burglary victims.
She was convicted of felony theft in November 2009 in Cass County and also received five years of probation with conditions concerning alcohol use. She paid $2,000 in restitution and fines.
Lauinger, 22, was sentenced in August in district court in Two Harbors to two years and nine months in state prison in St. Cloud on three felony burglary counts. He also has to pay nearly $4,000 in restitution to his known victims in the Isabella and Birch Lake areas. Lauinger had already served time or probation for criminal sexual conduct, harassment, and felony theft charges. At the time of his arrest last fall, he was in Becker County Jail for failing to register as a sex offender.
Deputies began receiving calls about cabin break-ins in July 2009. Lauinger would later admit to at least 25 break-ins in that month alone along Echo Trail north of Ely.
Items taken included boat accessories, guns, heaters, and tools. A break came after reports of burglaries in early August at Birch Lake Campground and along Highway 2 in Lake County. One cabin had a trail camera fixed on the driveway and captured a picture of a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and a license plate that was linked to Peterson. Police also reported items pawned at a shop in Duluth.
The couple was arrested Aug. 11 after a Cass County officer spotted the Grand Prix. In interviews they confessed to a summer of burglaries in remote areas across the state. They admitted to pawning items or giving them to friends. At times, the car became too full and items were simply discarded, police said in reports about the interviews. In one case, a stolen rifle was simply left at a campsite they had stayed at.
Peterson said she had been a lookout for the crimes and also helped break in.