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Lake County Past

SEPT. 19, 1968

Rash of break-ins hits area during September

A rash of thefts and burglaries have hit Lake County, and more specifically Two Harbors, since the month of September began. At least 10 incidents have taken place during the period.

The most noteworthy was the Sept. 8 break-in at the high school, in which an estimated $2,000 in cash was taken from the vault.

The vault, located in the principal’s office, was entered through a hole, which had been pounded in the lath and plaster wall which separates the vault from an outer hall.

A heavy iron bar was found at the scene and police suspect other instruments may have also been used. Police found no sign of entry into the school, but several doors were left unlocked.

The possibility of local involvement is not being ruled out, since an outsider probably would not have known the location of the vault. Also, the contents of the vault were swelled by the receipts from the football game two days before.

Roy Simonson, of the Two Harbors Police Department, said the break-in was typical of past school thefts throughout the state. The pattern of breaking into a vault through a wall is not a new one, he said.

He noted nothing was taken from the vault or the office except cash.

Over $7,000 in cash and checks was taken from the Finland Co-op Store sometime before Saturday morning, Sept. 7. Store manager Harry Backman discovered the crime that morning.

The front door had been forced and a safe in the office had been tipped over, with the door torn off it. A sledgehammer and pick were found at the scene.

This safe also contained more month than it would ordinarily. It contained the funds to be paid the employees of the Erie Mining Co. Nothing was taken except the contents of the safe.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the State Crime Bureau are investigating.

Sheriff Roland Falk said the job “didn’t look like the work of amateurs.”

Other thefts in the area resulted in less monetary loss, but were hardly less alarming. For instance:

A two-wheeled tractor was taken from the backyard of Howard Mallory at 1602 Eighth Ave. in Two Harbors on Sept. 1.

On Sept. 4, a hunting bow and 36 arrows were taking from the rear of the Veikko Ingelin home at 126 South Ave.

Simonson declined speculation on the possibility of a relation between the different break-ins, noting the differences of each crime. He did suggest there were out-of-town people involved in one or more of the incidents.