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Arrest made in Big Pine fish house heist

The case of Big Pine Lake's vanishing ice fishing hut has been solved.

Deputies nabbed a suspect, apparently caught red-handed with a brush and paint can-applying a new color to disguise the stolen fish house. The small building, valued at $10,000, was reported stolen some time on Dec. 27 from the north side of Big Pine Lake, northeast of Perham.

Arrested for the fish house heist was Daniel Martin Kaufman, 31, Deer Creek. The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department reported that, through an anonymous tip, the stolen structure was located at a rural residence southeast of Deer Creek. There, officers discovered the suspect in the process of painting the allegedly-swiped fish house a different color. The arrest was made about 4 p.m., Dec. 30.

The house, described as a 2008 Ice Castle brand, was located on the north side of Big Pine Lake. Dimensions of the structure are about six feet high, by 14 feet long; black in color; with a chrome-colored, 18-inch skirt that wraps around the entire fish house.

The front of the house is V-shaped, and there is a solar panel on one of the sides.

The owner of the house, Steven Simmons of Wayzata, reported that there was approximately $600 worth of fishing tackle and equipment inside of the house.

Simmons phoned in the report of the missing house at about 2:20 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 28.