Man allegedly stole ice house

FAIRMONT — A St. James man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

Joshua Vern Boerner, 33, has been charged with theft, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Dec. 26, a Martin County sheriff’s deputy met with a man at a lot in Fox Lake Village. The man advised that his ice house was stolen from that location on Dec. 24 or Dec. 25.

The man indicated the ice house is 18 feet long, made of aluminum, silver in color, and the roof has two layers of aluminum. The man indicated the ice house is valued at about $10,000.

The deputy spoke with another man who said items were stolen from his truck, which was parked on the lot next to the ice house.

On Jan. 15, the deputy received a phone call from the first man, who said he had posted his stolen ice house on Facebook and a friend found it on Ida Lake near Amboy.

The deputy met the man at the lake and inspected the ice house. The man indicated there were unique parts that indicated the ice house was his, and also said he had a key that would lock and unlock the door.

The deputy observed there was tape on the front door with the name “J. Boerner” written on it. The deputy discovered a Joshua Vern Boerner has been in the Martin County jail several times in the past.

The ice house was towed to the Martin County impound.

An impound inventory turned up a receipt from a purchase made at Fleet Farm in St. James and a lottery scratch ticket. The deputy was able to determine from video surveillance that the individual who made the purchase was Boerner.

A search warrant was obtained for Boerner’s residence in St. James. Boerner’s girlfriend was at the residence when the warrant was executed. The woman indicated she had gone ice fishing with Boerner. She gave a description of the ice house they had been in, which matched that of the stolen ice house.

On Jan. 27, officers located Boerner, who was transported to the Martin County Law Enforcement Center. Boerner was informed of his rights.

During the interview, Boerner first said he bought the ice house from another man for $800. He said he did not know it was stolen, and also said the man he purchased it from lived in the Twin Cities.

At the end of the interview, Boerner admitted to taking the ice house because he was told to do so by the girlfriend of the man whose truck had been pilfered. Boerner indicated that he and the woman had been friends for a long time and she showed him the property where the ice house was situated. Boerner indicated she paid some of her boyfriend’s bills, so she wanted the ice house for collateral.