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Crime Beat

By Staff | Sep 25, 2015


There was a rash of motor vehicle break-ins occurring, according to Police Chief John Rose, in the Northwest area of Rugby in the area of North Cenex. A variety of items were stolen including but not limited to firearms, hunting equipment, tools, keys to vehicles, flashlights and, as Rose said in a recent interview, “A little bit of everything was stolen.” Rose continued in the interview, “We are confident that we have recovered most of the property. We have recovered three of the four firearms that were taken.” He continued, “We have recovered a lot of tools, tents, just an array of items.”

There were three adults charged and one juvenile charged with these thefts. The three adult suspects are: Kelly G. Belgarde, who has been charged with a Class C Felony (theft of property); Dylan James Morin, who has also been charged with a Class C Felony (theft of property); and Colten Lynn Burkett, who has been charged with a Class C Felony (Burglary) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Misdemeanor. The name of the juvenile charged in the case has not been released.

According to Rose, the Rugby Police Department believes there have been more incidents that have been reported. Rose makes this assessment because they have acquired property as results of their investigation that is not part of the reported cases. Rose asks, “We encourage anybody that may be missing items or have had strange unexplained circumstances at their residence to give the Rugby Police Department a call, because we might have property that is yours.”

Rose also indicated that there might be more charges to come as they expand their investigation.


Sept. 18, 2015 it was released by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department that on Sept. 6, 2015 at approximately 8:53 p.m., the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an explosion approximately mile south of Barton. The Rugby Fire Department responded to the scene along with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Upon arrival on scene, it was discovered that an unused barn on an unoccupied farmstead South of Barton had been damaged from the explosion. No persons or animals were harmed from the explosion.

This incident is still under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time

Patrols Net 136 Drug & Alcohol Arrests

Extra law enforcement patrols from Aug. 21 through Sept. 7 resulted in 1,275 traffic stops across North Dakota, with 136 arrests and/or citations being alcohol or drug-related. Thirty-eight law enforcement agencies, including the North Dakota Highway Patrol, added extra shifts leading up to Labor Day for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement crackdown to keep roadways safe during this busy travel time and the results were astonishing.

A total of 731 traffic citations were attributed to the added patrols, with 73 accounting for DUI arrests or refusal of a test. There were another 34 arrests or citations for other alcohol-related violations and 29 drug-related arrests. Tickets for speeding were the largest-portion of the citations at 273. The traffic stops also resulted in four felony arrests.

“By removing these individuals from the roads, there is no telling how many lives were saved,” said Karin Mongeon, safety division director, North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT). “The way we see it, if we saved one life, the campaign was worthwhile.”

According to Sergeant Joe Knowski, a seasoned veteran, as stated on a recent radio interview, “Some of the numbers were pretty astounding considering the time period that was covered” He continued, “It is a tragedy when you are talking about 150 people dying on the state highways over this last Labor Day. That is quite a few people and these crashes are contributed to people that are influenced by alcohol. He concluded, “Not just one persons’ life is influence by that fatal crash. It’s a whole lot more when you are talking about cousins, aunts, and uncles, moms and dads. So you are influencing a lot of people’s lives with that one crash” As Sgt. Knowski knows all to well, alcohol is a huge thing that has to be addressed because it kills people and that is one thing that all law enforcement wants to stop.

High-visibility enforcement for traffic safety is one element of a collaborative effort to eliminate motor vehicle deaths in North Dakota. Extra patrols have been shown effective in impaired driving prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that high-visibility enforcement can reduce DUI fatalities up to 20 percent

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