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Officers, deputies investigate burglary, arrest man in Christmastime thefts

Owen Colby Swenson

A string of thefts was foiled as law enforcement investigated a Christmas Eve burglary.

Coordination between law enforcement officers with several departments led to the arrest of a 32-year-old Pine River man. Owen Colby Swenson was arrested Dec. 24 and charged with 14 counts of mail theft and probation violation. Swenson's arrest stemmed from an investigation beginning about 4:40 p.m. Christmas Eve when the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office received a notice of a residential alarm at a house on the 8000 block of Big Whitefish Narrows, in Ideal Township.

Deputies arrived at the house and found the door to the residence had been forced open and appeared to have been burglarized, Sheriff Todd Dahl reported in a news release. While officers were investigating this burglary, a Crosslake Police Officer reported he was out with a vehicle on County Highway 1 and had identified the driver as Swenson. Upon further investigation, a large amount of mail was found inside of Swenson's vehicle. The mail was addressed to several different people in the area.

Deputies believed that Swenson had stolen mail out of numerous mailboxes along with stealing packages that had been delivered to residences. Swenson was arrested and brought to the Crow Wing County Jail.

Investigators believe that Swenson had stolen mail from mailboxes in the Kego Lake Road area along with residences in the County Road 134 area and other side roads. Investigators have been contacting homeowners to check their residences.

"This was great work by deputies and officers involved putting together the pieces of the burglary and mail thefts," Dahl said. "It's also frustrating to see that Owen Swenson is once again involved in these crimes as he was arrested just over a year ago for breaking into houses in the same neighborhood and is currently on probation for burglary and receiving stolen property."

Dahl is asking people living in this area that if they believe they are missing packages that were mailed but never received to contact the sheriff's office at 218-829-4749 and ask for investigations. The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Crosslake Police Department along with the Pine River Police Department.