Stuck thief flees Gamehaven


A failed Burglary at Gamehaven Scout Reservation has led to thousands of dollars in damages. On Friday, November 27th, a thief entered the grounds, destroying property and attempting to steal over a thousand dollars worth of tools and valuables. As fate would have it, the person or people did not get away with the stolen property: the criminal’s vehicle, a stolen car, became stuck at the entrance, so they fled the scene on foot. 

Gamehaven Scout Reservation is the main camping spot for Boy Scout Troops in Rochester, Minnesota. It is a nice, scenic Scout camp with trails, ranges, and plenty of campgrounds. Many large camping events are held there each year as well, including the Fall Camporee, Winter Klondike, Polar Cubs, and Spring Camporee. It is available for use by scouts any time of year, and there is a public side of Gamehaven that can be used for biking, hiking, and fishing.  

Steve Mengis, one of the committee chair members of Gamnehaven, had much to say about this particular incident. Upset about the gas lines the thief had cut, Mengis noted that this person cut roughly three feet of copper pipe. Mengis went on to say that, “ They easily could have stolen around 30 feet of copper tubing, but the thief wasn’t very smart.” 

He also mentioned that the thief had broken into the trading post and sprayed the fire extinguisher everywhere as well. The thief broke into several other facilities such as the Barn, Deer lodge, Pheasant Lodge, and the tool shed. In the process, he knocked the Pepsi machine over in order to steal money from it. 

The stolen car was abandoned, stuck and filled with Scouting property.

As Mengis notes, the thief clearly wasn’t very bright. He caused damage for what seems like fun and left plenty of tools behind. He managed to leave prints from his boots too. The thief managed to steal a car from Wisconsin for the job, which ultimately became stuck in the mud outside the entrance gate on his way out. Apparently, all of the stolen tools in his car created too heavy a load, so fortunately for Gamehaven, the thief had to flee on foot.

Mengis had a bit to say about this too: “That thief… caused all this damage for a joyride and didn’t manage to steal anything” other than a few dollars from the Pepsi machine. 

The vending machine was knocked over and broken into.

Sadly for Gamehaven, the damage costs quite a bit of money to fix. The copper gas line was cut, locks, doors, and windows were broken and other things needed repairs. Gamehaven staff also had to clean up the trading post, which had been sprayed with the contents of the fire extinguisher. 

The trading post was left a mess after the vandalism and looting.

Unfortunately, the offender has never been found. Three suspects have been identified, but authorities are still unsure who the culprit actually is. Many committee members of Gamehaven including Steve Mengis are troubled over the incident. Gamehaven had quite the unwanted event, and It is unfortunate that Gamehaven and its many staff and scouts that enjoy their facilities may not see the justice they deserve for a while.

The person left behind tools he could not fit in his car.