A report of a break-in at a Burnett County cabin has resulted in felony burglary charges for a Spooner, WI man.

Lester Gates, of Spooner, WI, is charged with Class F Felony Burglary of a Dwelling, and Misdemeanor Theft after an investigation into a break-in and burglary of a Burnett County cabin led law enforcement to Gates.

Law enforcement was dispatched to a cabin on North Rice Lake Road in Burnett County in response to a complaint of a burglary. According to the criminal complaint filed in Burnett County Circuit Court against Gates, a window on the porch of the cabin had been kicked open. This allowed access into the kitchen of the cabin. Several bottles of liquor were missing along with a large amount of frozen meat, dry goods, and toilet paper. Included in the list of items missing from the cabin were bottles of Malibu rum, Korbel brandy, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Hotsex Liquor, and a 2 lb package of bacon.

The victims told officers that a friend had plowed the snow at the cabin for them just 2 days prior to this incident, and no break-in had been noticed at that time, so they believed this had taken place within the last 48 hours. Officers followed tracks leading away from the cabin; the tracks led to a large gray house also on North Rice Lake Road.

Gates opened the door of the gray house and spoke with the officers. When asked if he had been burglarized lately, he allegedly said yes, and invited officers into the residence to show them where the break-in had occurred. Gates showed the officers a broken window and according to the criminal complaint, stated that his kitchen table and some chairs had been stolen.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that as officers walked through the gray house, they found another man, Richard Priesgen and a woman, Kessie Madaus, also inside. 

They also observed bottles of Malibu rum, Korbel brandy, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Hotsex Liquor. In the kitchen, was a large bacon package, empty. Officers asked who had eaten the bacon, and Priesgen said that neither he nor Gates had eaten it and that the package had been there, pretty much forever.

Gates was placed under arrest for an outstanding warrant and transported to the Burnett County Jail. 

Later that evening, another report was received, stating that the address next to the North Rice Lake Road cabin had also been burglarized. The victims stated that a Samsung Blu-Ray player were missing, along with a 28” flat screen TV, and several bottles of alcohol, including Malibu Rum and Yellow Tail Australian wine.

Officers returned to the gray house and spoke with Priesgen, who according to the criminal complaint gave consent for officers to search bedrooms in the residence where officers found a Blu-Ray player matching the description provided by the victims of the second reported burglary. They also found another bottle of Malibu rum and an empty Yellow Tail wine bottle.

When officers interviewed Gates, he allegedly stated that Priesgen had helped him commit several burglaries. Gates went on to provide a list of addresses on North Rice Lake Road which he said he and Priesgen had either broken into or attempted to break into.

It is not known to DrydenWire.com at this time if criminal charges will be filed against Priesgen or Madaus regarding the break-ins.

Gates was placed on a $500 cash bail on January 29, 2018, and is to appear again later this week regarding his burglary charges. Online circuit court records indicate that Gates also had pending charges for Misdemeanor Theft in a separate Burnett County Circuit Court case filed against him in September 2017. Details of that case are not known to DrydenWire.com.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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