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Facebook Helps Recover Grandpa’s Stolen Ice Shanty

ice shanty
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A thief stole a beloved ice shanty built by Meghan’s father, but friends came together to get it back.

What kind of person would steal an ice shanty directly from someone else’s driveway? A real creep, that’s what kind.

Meghan Wiebe and her family had an ice shanty stolen from their Briggs Lake, Minnesota home last week. It happened to be an ice shanty that her father, Dennis Arndt, had built for her childrenhis grandchildrenbefore he passed away.

Arndt was diagnosed with a brain tumor not long after finishing the shanty, and it took his life last year. His grandsons, ages 6, 8 and 10, said that they felt “Anger, mostly.”

“It’s not a fish house. It’s him,” said Meghan’s husband, Chris Wiebe. “He built it with these guys in mind, and taking them out fishing,” he said as he gestured to his sons. “It’s not wheels and frame, it was Dennis. It really was.”

Meghan admitted, “I really didn’t sleep. You can’t replace something that somebody makes.”

So, the family took action. Chris hung posters at boat ramps, hoping that someone would see the shanty and report it. Meghan took to social media and posted the ice shanty and her plea for its return on Facebook.

“They were kind of like the ‘Let’s get ’em!’ kind of attitude, you know,” smiled Meghan, talking about the comments that ensued.

And after her post received more than 8,300 shares, someone did indeed respond!

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Department got a tip, and on Sunday, they followed it to a property near Clearwater, where they found the ice shanty.

The thief had repainted the ice house from red to blue and removed the contents. But police believe they know who did it and are now looking for him.

“You can fix paint,” said Chris. “We’ll make it right. We’ll make it perfect.”

“The lesson, I guess, is to share and help each other,” said Meghan through her tears. “He’d be proud that the good in people prevailed.”

Click here to watch a news video of the story.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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Facebook Helps Recover Grandpa’s Stolen Ice Shanty