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Janesville arsonist sentenced, faces new burglary charges

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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WASECA COUNTY, Minn. (KEYC) - The Janesville man who set fire to the town’s Frankenstein statue is now facing charges in connection with a recent string of burglaries.

35-year-old Luke Duane Olson pleaded guilty to felony arson after he was seen on surveillance footage lighting the statue on fire in June.

He was sentenced Tuesday to house arrest, community service, probation and restitution.

But now, Olson is facing new charges relating to a string of burglaries in Waseca County.

According to the criminal complaint, police say someone stole a firearm and up to 5,000 rifle rounds from a vehicle on October 14th. The items were valued at $3,000 to $5,000.

On the 18th, another burglary was reported where $50,000 worth of items were taken from a residence including two motorcycles, snowmobile parts, frozen meat and fishing equipment.

Later that day, a man matching Olson’s description reportedly broke into a taxidermy shop but fled the scene after encountering a worker.

Police say he returned the next day, broke down the back door and stole 14 firearms valued at $20,000 to $30,000.

Another apparent burglary was reported on the 20th where more meat and firearms were stolen from a residence.

Later that day, security footage captured someone illegally dumping two mufflers and a catalytic converter at Kwik Trip.

Police say the license plate was registered to Olson.

On the 21st, police searched Olson’s residence, where the complaint says they recovered the stolen meat, firearms and items linked to other unsolved burglaries in Waseca County.

Authorities say Olson admitted to the crimes.

He said he wanted to trade them for food to feed his two children.

Olson is in the Waseca County Jail on $500,000 bail.

His next hearing is November 18th.

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