Footprints in snow lead to burglary suspect (updated)

Published 4:14 pm Friday, January 27, 2012

Police located a suspect after discovering a break in at Northstar Powersports & Marine early Friday morning.

Albert Lea police officers found snowmobiles missing and the rear door broken out of Northstar Powersports & Marine, 2120 Consul St., around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

A snowmobile was found crashed into a fence on Northstar’s property. The other missing snowmobile was a 2008 Yamaha Nytro, which was stolen along with cash and sunglasses.

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Officers could hear a snowmobile running and attempted to locate it. They found the suspect driving the snowmobile near Frank Hall Drive and attempted to stop it.

The snowmobile driver fled, striking a mailbox and fleeing across Albert Lea Lake toward Helmer-Myre State Park. Officials said they formed a large perimeter around Albert Lea Lake.

Around 6:30 a.m. the stolen snowmobile was found abandoned in the 2000 block of Neale Street. Officers tracked a single set of foot prints to a residence on Morningside Road. The occupant was arrested on unrelated warrants.

A search warrant was obtained and a search was done of the residence where officials found property from Northstar, along with a jacket that matched the description of the suspected thief’s.

Officials said they believe there is only one suspect, and that the person first crashed a snowmobile into the fence on Northstar’s property before allegedly stealing another and fleeing on it.

The case remains under investigation, and charges are pending. Look to the Tribune for more information as it becomes available.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Albert Lea Fire Department assisted.