Two 21-year-olds from St. Paul charged with burglary of a building and felony criminal damage to property had their initial court appearance March 11.
Lancealot P. Ogitchida and Dominic J. Tilsen allegedly broke into a Clifton township cabin Oct. 9, 2018, stealing alcohol and causing damages estimated at $4,500 to a door, window and a refrigerator. The men, who have relational ties to the owner of the cabin, were caught in photos taken by a trail camera.
According to the Pierce County criminal complaint:
A complainant who had been in the area looking for a lost cat reported having seen signs of a break-in at the cabin at W13066 640th Ave. in the Clifton township.
A window was broken and the screen was pulled off on the east side of the building. The handle of the interior door was broken off on the west side of the building.
When officers arrived to clear the building and verify no one was inside, a third cabin was spotted nearby to have open windows and doors. There was no one found in the third cabin after it was cleared.
The owner of the third cabin, Andrew J. Tilsen, was contacted and arrived on the scene. He stated that he left the windows and doors open to prevent people from causing damage when breaking and entering, which had been a problem in the past. The owner verified nothing had been damaged or stolen in the residence.
The burgled cabin owner, Thomas H. Morrow, was contacted and eventually sent his son and daughter-in-law to the scene to identify any possibly stolen items.
Police photographed evidence and identified a flathead shovel which appeared to have been used on the deadbolt lock and to break off the door handle on the west entryway. Fingerprints, mud, animal hair and a splatter of blood were found near or on the door, which also seemed to have been forced in using a shoulder.
A propeller which was originally taken from the deck was thrown through a window on the east side, breaking the glass and hitting a refrigerator on the inside of the cabin.
The refrigerator sustained dents and damage.
A liquor cabinet in the kitchen appeared to have been opened and five bottles of alcohol were partially empty. It was later confirmed by the cabin owner that there had been 16 bottles of alcohol in the cabinet since the owner had last visited on Oct. 4.
Televisions, game consoles, hand tools and chainsaws appeared to be untouched throughout the residence.
DNA swabs were taken on the scene as well as from the owner's son and daughter-in-law.
The SD card from a trail camera was obtained for investigation, and the two suspects were seen in the photos. The suspects had their faces covered and one was wearing gloves.
A suspect Ford Crown Victoria vehicle was seen 13 different times in the photos since June 6, 2018, including on the date of the burglary.
During a follow-up in the investigation, it was discovered that the cabin was owned by a family trust and accessed by family members often. One of the relatives confirmed the Ford vehicle belonged to his cousin Tilsen and his cousin Ogitchida was with him when the burglary occurred.
Distinct markings on the suspect Ford were matched with a Ford pictured in posts made by Tilsen on his Facebook page. A German Shepherd which was spotted in the trail camera pictures to be sitting in the suspect vehicle was also seen in photos on Tilsen's Facebook.
The owner of the cabin received a phone call on Oct. 30 from the two men and they both were apologizing and wanting to pay for the damages to make things right.
A preliminary hearing is set for March 27 at 9 a.m. for Tilsen and March 13 at 10:30 a.m. for Ogitchida at the Pierce County Courthouse.