Forum News Service, Published May 28 2013
Authorities investigate Beltrami burglary, possible arsonBEMIDJI, Minn. - A couple lost a source of income and two others lost virtually all of their belongings Sunday after burglars allegedly torched a home on the north side of Big Lake.
Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said the renters of the home were not present at the time of the burglary or the suspected arson that followed. The homeowners live nearby and act as landlords for the rambler-style home.
Beltrami County deputies, Leech Lake Tribal Police and the Cass Lake Fire Department received a report of a house fire at 1:46 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
Hodapp said the relatively remote location of the home, and the absence of its occupants, ensured its total destruction. Authorities believe the home was set ablaze to cover up evidence left during the burglary, but the release did not state the value or specify the items taken from the house, which Hodapp said was worth at least $100,000.
Evidence of the use of an accelerant was found in the home, Hodapp said.