A Linton man faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in Emmons County in connection with more than $50,000 worth of items stolen in a rash of burglaries and thefts dating back to September 2018.
Brent Thomas Ohlhauser, 34, was arrested in the early morning of May 12, according to an affidavit on file. The arrest was made by officers of the Emmons County Sheriff’s Department after they received a call about a possible burglary from a rural Emmons county man. Items in the back of Ohlhauser’s pickup matched the description of items that had been stolen.
Authorities obtained a search warrant later on May 12. The warrant was executed throughout the day and items from 12 separate burglaries were discovered, the affidavit states.
Among the items stolen were several guns, ammunition, power tools, antique dining room chairs, a wall hanging portrait, a toilet, dinner plates, two pounds of hamburger and a new window air conditioner that was still in the box.
According to court documents dated May 14, Ohlhauser faces 12 burglary, 13 theft of property, seven criminal mischief and four misdemeanor drug charges.
Emmons County State’s Attorney Joe Hanson said he expects more charges to be filed. Ohlhauser is being held on $5,000 bail. His next court appearance will be June 10.
Emmons County Sheriff Gary Sanders said the thefts occurred in rural areas of Linton and Strasburg. Some of the targets were seasonal farms that were unoccupied for parts of the year and some were vacant farms with machine sheds on the property. Sanders said it appears Ohlhauser hasn't sold any of the property.
"We feel comfortable that the vast majority of the items reported stolen have been recovered, especially all the firearms," he said.
Sanders said Ohlhauser was accumulating the items and stored them in the basement or crawl space of his home or in other buildings. There were "easily" hundreds of items stolen since the incidents started, he said. Reports of thefts were received from September until December and started again in May. Getting a tip from a citizen was what made the arrest possible, Sanders said, and the arrest relieved a lot of anxiety among people in the area.
"It puts a lot of people on edge," Sanders said. "They wonder who's doing it and when am I going to get hit."
Sanders said it is a lengthy process to catalog the items. The items are evidence and it could be months before they are returned. He said Ohlhauser has been helpful in that process.
"He's working with us, cooperating, getting the property back, so it's good in that respect," Sanders said.