Propane tanks stolen from Lincoln County ice shanty - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Propane tanks stolen from Lincoln County ice shanty

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LINCOLN COUNTY (WAOW) - Ice shanty break-ins and thefts are frustrating fishermen in Lincoln County.

"We come out here to fish," said Allen Lobacz, an ice fisherman. "People shouldn't be messing with other people's stuff."

One break-in several years ago was all Lobacz needed to beef up security.

"We just put a bigger bracket [on the door] on so you just can't pull it off," said Lobacz. "You're going to have to pull the wall apart more or break the windows."

He says he also keeps his propane tank inside his shanty.

"That's something people rip off, especially with this shortage, it doesn't help matters," said Lobacz.

Lincoln County Sheriff's officers say over the weekend, one man had two propane tanks stolen. Officers say the man didn't secure his equipment properly.

"There is the crisis right now," said Lt. Tim Fischer. "Propane is expensive right now. Anywhere from four to six dollars a gallon right now and people are going to be looking for something free."

Officers say thieves are also taking expensive fishing equipment.

Department of Natural Resources officials say it's important that fishermen keep their property secure.

"The best thing they can do if they're not with their shanty is to have them locked up if they have a semi-permanent ice shack on the ice," said DNR Conservation Warden Mike Rader.

He also advises fishermen not to board up their windows.

"If they can't see in there, they also can attempt to break in," said Rader.

But the best option, wardens say, is to just take items home. Lobacz says he tries to follow that advice and keep his shanty as secure as possible.

"You just button up as good as you can," said Lobacz.

DNR officials say people can also help by watching out for their neighbors' shanties and reporting any suspicious activity.

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