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Two men arrested in connection with area burglaries

By Staff | Oct 17, 2009

Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens reports that as a result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation two people are in custody in the Emmet County Jail.

The sheriff said citizens in Armstrong, Ringsted and Swea City recently have been the victim of thefts and burglaries in their communities.

On Oct. 14, at 12:43 a.m., the Armstrong Police Chief Craig Merrill located an unattended minivan parked on the street in Armstrong with a number of gasoline cans around it with two sets of foot tracks leading away from it and what appeared to be tracks from a golf cart.

A search of the area by the Armstrong police and an Emmet County deputy located the golf cart that had been used to transport the cans to the van and had been stolen from an Armstrong residence.

At 1:49 a.m., the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen minivan from 5673 170th street in rural Armstrong.

The Armstrong police chief and Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens responded to the scene and made contact with the residents at this location.

The house was searched and led to the recovery of a large amount of stolen property. Arrested at the scene was Joseph Robert Simenson, 18, of 5673 170th Street, Armstrong.

At 2:33 a.m. the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office received a call from an Armstrong resident advising that their dog was barking and when the resident looked outside they saw a person dressed in black running through their backyard.

Additional deputies were called to the scene as well as Estherville Police K-9 “Max” and his handler officer Matt Reineke to conduct a search of the area for this person. Officers and deputies were unable to locate this person.

Later while law enforcement officers were still conducting a search of 5673 170th street the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a citizen that a person who was dressed in black and very wet was picked up east of Armstrong by a motorist and transported to Armstrong to a local business. This person, who matched the description of the other suspect believed to be involved in the recent rash of burglaries and reported earlier in a backyard in Armstrong, was then reported to get into a vehicle with another person and head north on Highway 15.

Emmet County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Olson and Armstrong chief Merrill located this vehicle and initiated a traffic stop on 170th Street in Emmet County taking Billy Bishop-Martinez into custody.

As a result of this investigation both Bishop-Martinez and Simenson were charged with possession of stolen property, a class D felony and numerous counts of third degree burglary, also a class D felony.

They were both booked into the Emmet County Jail and remain in custody under a $65,000 bond. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.

“I would also like to thank the Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office and Estherville Police Department for their assistance,” said Martens.

Martens reminds citizens to report any suspicious activity they may see to help protect our communities.