WASHBURN COUNTY -- A new criminal complaint and arrest warrant have been filed in Washburn County Circuit Court for Randy Hammett regarding an alleged burglary that occurred in November 2017 at the Shell Lake, WI Cenex convenience store.

DrydenWire.com previously reported that criminal charges regarding this burglary incident had been dismissed (see below).

DrydenWire.com reached out to current Washburn County District Attorney Aaron Marcoux to ask for the reason for this new criminal complaint and the arrest warrant. The District Attorney provided the following statement:

"Upon my review of the file, I believe that the Shell Lake Police Department did a great job compiling enough evidence to secure a conviction in this case. The case was filed including a statewide warrant after considering the strength of the case, severity of the offense and protection of the public."


On November 20, 2017, the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office issued a request for the public’s help to identify and locate a male caught on surveillance camera during the time frame that the Cenex store was allegedly burglarized.

The man in the surveillance footage was identified a short time later by the authorities as Randy Hammett, then of Birmingham, Alabama, and criminal charges were filed a few days later.

Over $12,000 cash was reported as stolen from the safe in the Cenex store during the burglary, along with nearly $200 worth of cigarettes. Information obtained by Law Enforcement indicated that following the burglary Hammett made statements about winning a large amount of cash at the Lac Courte Oreilles Casino, however, the casino advised the authorities they had no record of such a win.

Law Enforcement also received information that following the burglary, Hammett had taken a flight back to Alabama and that he intended to purchase a vehicle with the cash. Hammett was taken into custody a short time later on an arrest warrant and transported back to Wisconsin to appear in Washburn County Circuit Court.

After the Court ordered that it could not find probable cause on the criminal complaint and dismissed the charges, the former District Attorney immediately re-filed the charges. That second criminal complaint was ultimately dismissed as well after the Court once again ordered that it could not find probable cause for the charges.

In addition to a new District Attorney handling the new criminal complaint, online circuit court records show that this new criminal case is assigned to Barron County Judge Bitney as the current Judge Angeline Winton was the former prosecutor on Hammett’s previous cases and because of the retirement of former Judge Eugene Harrington.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Randy Hammett may contact the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office at 715-468-4700.

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.

Last Update: Apr 24, 2020 7:39 am CDT

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Crime & Court

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