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5 arrested during theft, burglary investigation

BEMIDJI - Five people have been arrested as suspects in a rash of thefts and burglaries in Bemidji and Beltrami County.

Richard Allen Fowler 49, and Kristy Jo Coyle 23, were arrested Thursday, while Joel Clarence Velisek, 46; John David Iverson, 32 and John Joseph Waslaski, 38, were arrested in the past week, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.

A news release said stolen property, including firearms, power tools, copper pipes, tools and a pickup truck, were recovered during the arrests and subsequent searches.

In addition, authorities recovered radios, recorders and police equipment recently taken from a Leech Lake Tribal Police Car and the Upper Mississippi Mental Health transport vehicle were also found.

Reports on these investigations have been forwarded to the Beltrami County Attorney's Office for review of potential charges.

The release said many of the items can't be traced to owners because of a lack of serial numbers or the victims did not have the serial numbers or good descriptions recorded.

The Sheriff's Office urges people to record serial numbers and take photos or video of your valuables to enable the identification of your property should it be stolen.

Investigators are continuing to follow-up on these investigations and are looking for more of the stolen property. Much of the property had already been sold by the suspects. People who recently purchased items from these individuals are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 333-9111.

The Sheriff's Office, Bemidji Police Department, Leech Lake Tribal Police, Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension cooperated to make the arrests.