• 21°

Gun thief sentenced to 20 years probation

One of three area men charged with breaking into a Pleasant Valley Township home to cut open a safe with a blowtorch and steal more than $100,000 worth of guns, was sentenced to probation last week.

Brian Reicks, 19, of Riceville, Iowa, pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft of a firearm and one count of felony theft for taking a motor vehicle without consent as part of the agreement Oct. 15, 2015. He was originally charged with an additional count of felony theft and an additional count of felony first-degree burglary and possession of a dangerous weapon.

Reicks was sentenced to 20 years of supervised probation.

Reicks, Jacob Mogren, 18, and Isaac Morse, 20, also allegedly stole several motorcycles and other equipment from the property.

According to court complaints, the men allegedly broke into a home on April 8, 2015, where they tipped over a gun safe, cut open the bottom of it, and stole more than 85 guns, then allegedly stored the guns at Morse’s home in Riceville.

Two 1975 Norton Commando 850cc motorcycles were also stolen, and were later recovered from a La Crescent, Minnesota, man who paid about $1,600 for the motorcycles from a man pretending to be the victim.

Most of the guns were sold, and police recovered at least 82 of them.

The victim reported the robbery to Mower County Sheriff’s deputies on April 20 and said Mogren had admitted to the theft. During an interview, Reicks told police Mogren led them to believe the victim had given them permission to break into the gun safe as he couldn’t get it open. Reicks and Morse also told police Mogren said they could keep whatever guns they found inside of the safe if they successfully got it open.

Mogren told police he hadn’t received anything from the break-in and only sold a .22-caliber revolver with a scope for about $100. He also said Reicks and Morse were the ones in charge of fencing the guns.

Reicks later told police he had two shotguns belonging to Mogren’s relatives but denied breaking into the home. Police eventually searched Reicks’s property, where they found another motorcycle, two motorbikes and various equipment that belonged to the victim.

Shortly after interviewing the suspects, deputies received information from the Mitchell County Sheriff’s department about Mogren allegedly confessing to stealing the guns and selling them out of state.

Another person also came forward to tell police Mogren had admitted all three suspects had robbed the Pleasant Vally Home. Mogren allegedly said he stole the guns to get money to buy a truck and car parts.