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Cloquet man arrested after rash of thefts, attempted burglary

A Cloquet man was arrested Monday, Aug. 11, after neighbors reported a late night attempted theft at the House of Spirits liquor store on Cloquet Avenue. Following his arrest, the man also allegedly admitted to going through numerous vehicles and stealing items from some of them.

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Ryan Eric Wise, 24, (aka Ryan Pikarainen) was charged Aug. 13 in Carlton County Court with attempted burglary in the third degree and possession of burglary/theft tools (both felonies), as well as criminal damage to property, tampering with a motor vehicle and fleeing on foot.

According to the criminal complaint, Wise told officers he “thought it would be a good night to break into vehicles because it was raining and he did not think officers would be patrolling.”

The complaint notes that it was around 2:40 a.m. Aug. 11 when a Cloquet Police officer saw Wise standing outside a van on 11th Street, leaning into the passenger side compartment, with a bicycle lying on the ground beside him. When the officer trained his spotlight on the vehicle, Wise stood up, grabbed the bike and took off toward Carlton Avenue.

Cloquet Police Chief Steve Stracek said Wise fled on his bike and then on foot until he was taken into custody a few blocks later.

According to the complaint, after being given his Miranda rights, Wise admitted he had entered between 20 and 30 vehicles. When he was arrested, he had six car chargers, CD cases, an MP3 player, a Black Bear rewards card and several other items.

He also admitted to taking a bicycle from an alley between 15th and 16th streets and later using a hammer to try to break the window at the liquor store in an attempt to gain entry and steal bottles of alcohol.

Wise pleaded guilty to tampering with a motor vehicle and theft in 2011 as well as third-degree burglary in 2012.