By Dan Nienaber
---- — VERNON CENTER — Two southern Blue Earth County city halls were hit in what a police chief suspects were a string of burglaries that stretched across southwestern Minnesota during the weekend.
Cash was stolen from the city halls in Vernon Center and Amboy sometime after Friday afternoon and before Monday morning. Kathy Ikier, Amboy city administrator, said she realized Amboy City Hall had been burglarized as soon as she arrived at work Monday morning.
When she called Kyle Hubert, police chief for both Amboy and Vernon Center, he was on his way back from investigating a burglary at the Crystal Valley Co-Op grain elevator in Vernon Center. It wasn't long after that when an employee at the Vernon Center City Hall called to report that building had been burglarized, too, Ikier said.
When Hubert issued a teletype report to law enforcement agencies throughout the state, he learned that other cities west and south of Blue Earth County also were reporting strings of burglaries. Law enforcement officers in other cities reported grain elevators and lumber yards had been broken into and cash stolen. Hubert had heard Tuesday that another city hall in southwestern Minnesota could have been burglarized during the weekend but he was still waiting for details.
"There was quite a lot of cash stolen from the three buildings in our cities," Hubert said.
Hubert didn't want to reveal the exact amount or the other cities that had reported burglaries at this time because the crimes remain under investigation. He said there have been some leads, but none solid enough to report to the general public at this point.
There were no other similar reports of burglaries in other rural areas of Blue Earth County during the weekend, said Capt. Rich Murry of the Sheriff's Department.
Hubert is asking anyone who noticed suspicious activity in Vernon Center or Amboy Friday night, during the weekend or early Monday morning to call Blue Earth County dispatchers at 507-387-5601.