Two men have been arrested and charged with burglary and damage to property after allegedly breaking into and stealing from the laundry machines at an apartment complex in Hinckley.

Jesse Ryan Fett, 36, of Moose Lake and Brett Lee Hipple, 28, of Wannaska have been charged by the Pine County Attorney’s Office with two counts of felony second-degree burglary, one count felony third-degree burglary and one count first-degree damage to property.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 3 at approximately 2:06 a.m. a deputy was dispatched to Dunn Square Apartments in Hinckley after a report that there had been a break-in in the laundry room.

A witness told the deputy that at 10 p.m. they found that the washing and drying machine locks in an upstairs laundry room were drilled out, though the downstairs laundry room machine locks were undamaged. They reported this to the building manager. Several hours later, the building manager discovered that people were in the downstairs laundry room.

The witness said they looked out the window and saw a male take off running and jump the fence. The deputy found that the laundry machine locks in a different building had been drilled out as well.

The suspects were seen near a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer in the parking lot, but ran and jumped the fence. The deputy saw several items in plain view in the Trailblazer, including a backpack and drill set. The Trailblazer was towed, and a warrant obtained for the search.

A short time after the Trailblazer was towed, Keith’s Towing in Hinckley contacted the deputies to report that someone had been dropped off at the business by another vehicle and was now in the woods trying to access the Trailblazer.

The other vehicle was pulled over and Fett was found in the backseat of the vehicle. It was determined that Fett had a warrant for his arrest in North Dakota and he was detained.

The driver of the vehicle said that Fett and Hipple had asked for a ride from Grand Casino Hinckley to get the Trailblazer out of the impound lot, and said that when they arrived Hipple exited the vehicle. The officer found Hipple’s wallet in the back of the vehicle with a black and red sweatshirt.

Video surveillance of the apartments showed that two males matching Fett and Hipple appeared to be entering the buildings with black backpacks and returning to the Trailblazer. Surveillance from Grand Casino Hinckley showed Fett and Hipple wearing items of clothing that were the same as the men involved in the burglary.

In the course of the investigation, deputies found surveillance video showing Fett entering the Trailblazer two days earlier, and another video of Hipple driving the Trailblazer.

 Investigators located Hipple walking on Highway 48 while traveling back to their office. Hipple appeared wet and had cuts and scrapes on his body. Following the Miranda advisory, Hipple stated he had been in the woods and he wanted to get his key out of Fett’s car. Hipple told deputies he was on probation for stealing coins from a carwash, and that he had a backpack with clothes and a flashlight in Fett’s vehicle.

According to the officers, Hipple stated that he and Fett went to the Dunn Square Apartments and that Fett “did what he did” while Hipple was on the phone. Hipple admitted to entering one of the buildings and going into the laundry room. He said he knew what Fett “was going to do.” Hipple also  confirmed that it was both him and Fett in the video surveillance at the casino.

Fett has a pending second-degree burglary charge out of Becker County and a pending third-degree burglary charge and felony theft charge out of Pine County. Hipple has a pending gross misdemeanor theft charge out of Carlton County.

Investigators were informed that eight laundry machines were damaged in the apartment complex, totaling $2,400 in damages.

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