Wisconsin ice shack burglars lose getaway car when ice breaks

(KMSP) - Two young men were arrested Monday morning after their vehicle broke through the ice on Lake St. Croix in Douglas County, Wis.

Ryan VanPuymbrouck, 20, and Tyler Hale, 24, initially stated they were out on the ice just driving around when their car broke through -- but subsequent investigation and questioning resulted in the two confessing they had broken into several ice shacks with the intent to steal items.

Emergency responders were called to the southern end of the lake after an ice fisherman, arriving at his ice shack, was flagged down by one of the guys in the sinking vehicle asking for help.

After safely escaping the submerged vehicle, the two admitted to stealing a TV, an ice auger, and liquor, among many other items.

"Judging from the tire tracks in the area, it appears as if they became lost or disoriented as to their location and ended up in the river flowing out the south end of the lake where they broke through the thin ice," Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. "The vehicle, a 2014 Ford Focus owned by Hale's girlfriend, was found submerged in about 6 feet of water. The vehicle was not insured."

Both men are facing several counts of burglary. The incident and related incidents remain under investigation.

This story came from our affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
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