Angler out in cold after theft of ice house


WASECA, Minn.— The search is on for a stolen ice house, and it's a really nice one as these things go.

Authorities in Waseca County are on the lookout for the $4,000 house built for ice fishing that went missing from Clear Lake recently.

"This is the first I can recall happening in many years around here," said Chief Deputy Brad Milbrath of the Waseca County Sheriff's Office. Wascea is about 60 miles south of Minneapolis.

When the thousands of Minnesota lakes freeze over each year, communities of ice fishing houses crop up. They give hearty anglers shelter from the cold as they pursue their winter catch.

The missing house is 6 feet by 12 feet, with wood paneling, blue carpet, two-toned exterior and seven holes in the floor to drop lines through the ice and into the lake.

While thefts from within ice houses are occasionally reported, it's unusual for thieves to pull the whole structure away.

"We get reports not so much about the houses being stolen — that's a rarity — but more about the house being broken into and items stolen from inside," said Paul Tschida, chief sheriff's deputy in Carver County.

Houses "have been burned or run over just to get at what's inside," said Jeff Bakken, spokesman in Hennepin County's sheriff's office.