Blowtorch burglar steals 85 guns, gets probation

In a plea deal last week, a burglar who along with two other men cut open a safe during the burglary of a home in Minnesota and stole $100,000 worth of weapons was sentenced to supervised release.

As reported last June by the Austin Daily Herald, Brian Reicks, 19, of Riceville, Iowa, along with two other men, Jacob Mogren, 18, and Isaac Morse, 20, allegedly broke into a home in rural Pleasant Valley Township on April 8, 2015. Once in, they flipped a gun safe on its side, cut out the bottom of it with a blow torch, and made off with no less than 85 firearms including some valuable antiques and other items. Also taken were two motorcycles.

Reicks and Mogren subsequently attempted to fence the stolen items while they were stored at Mogren’s home in the Riceville area. On subsequent arrest, authorities ultimately recovered 82 guns and charged the men with felony first-degree burglary as well as theft and weapons charges in Mower County District Court.

Under Minnesota law, a single count of burglary in the first degree, either directly or as an accomplice, can lead to a sentence of 20 years in prison or $35,000 in fines, or both. Sentencing guidelines for theft, if it includes a firearm, likewise carry 20 years and fines of up to $100,000

Instead, Reicks got off with much less. Last October, he pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft of a firearm and one count of felony theft for taking a motor vehicle without consent, to which a judge handed down a sentence last week of 20 years on supervised release.

According to reports, among the firearms still missing is an 1894 Remington double-barrel shotgun valued at $1,500.

As detailed by the Filmore County Sheriff’s office, Reicks is also on a 90 day suspended sentence and is subject to $590 in fees and restitution on a misdemeanor receiving stolen property charge picked up in that county last summer. Court records show Reicks had felony burglary and damage to property charges in that case against him dismissed.