Two persons were arrested Monday morning after their vehicle broke through the ice on Lake St. Croix.
Emergency responders were called to Solon Springs and the southern end of Lake St. Croix at 7:26am on Monday January 19 after an ice fisherman, arriving at his ice shack, was flagged down by an individual asking for help getting off the ice because the vehicle he and a friend were in broke through the ice.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene as the two individuals were being brought off the ice by members of the Solon Springs VFD. They were identified as Ryan VanPuymbrouck, 20, Solon Springs, and Tyler Hale, 24, Solon Springs. They initially stated they were out on the ice just driving around and broke through. They said they were able to exit the vehicle and entered an ice shack to stay warm.
Subsequent investigation and questioning resulted in their confessing to breaking into several ice shacks on the southern end of the lake with the intent to steal items, prior to breaking through the ice. They admitted to taking a TV, ice auger, and liquor, among 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. 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 face several counts of burglary. The incident and related incidents remain under investigation.