BEMIDJI -- The people responsible for several thefts from cars outside area businesses and churches have been identified and are in the Beltrami County Jail.
On Sunday afternoon, Beltrami County Sheriff's Investigators began looking into thefts that occurred at Calvary Lutheran Church. As the investigation began to unfold, Bemidji Police Detectives also became involved since additional thefts occurred in the city were likely linked to the same suspects, according to a release issued jointly by the sheriff's office and police department.
Five people from Bemidji were arrested in connection with the thefts: Nicole Lee Kramer, 30; Paul "Rocky" Louis Kramer, 25; Joel Clarence Velisek, 48; Lance David Week, 27 and Kenneth "Cole" Colter Christian Luzius, 23. Three of the thieves' associates from Bemidji were also arrested. Jennifer Marie Brown, 21 and Seth Michael Richardson, 33, were arrested for probation violations. Samantha Lynn Miller, 31, was arrested for fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine.
Law enforcement reported several search warrants were executed by investigators and much of the stolen property was recovered. Beltrami County Sheriff's Investigators and Bemidji Police Detectives assisted by patrol officers from both agencies and members of the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force made the arrests.
Suspects have been connected to thefts from retailers in the area as well. The suspects will remain in custody at the Beltrami County Jail pending review of the case for charges by the Beltrami County Attorney's Office.