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Stolen calves recovered from farm near Barnesville

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Stolen calves recovered from farm near Barnesville
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

A tip from a Wilkin County farmer led to the recovery of 17 calves stolen from Douglas, Todd and Stearns counties on Thursday.

The calves were stolen from eight farms in the three counties over the past two weeks.


According to Todd County Investigator Scott Dirkes, they were located on a farm south of Barnesville.

Jesse Robert Ronsberg, 19, of Rothsay and a 16-year-old male from Barnesville were arrested.

Ronsberg was booked into the Wilkin County Jail on theft charges and the juvenile was later released to his parents.

Dirkes said the suspects had retagged all the calves after stealing them, but were cooperative in assisting with the identification of the calves.

After contacting the farmers, all of the calves were returned to their rightful owners by Thursday evening.

"We owe a great deal of gratitude to the Wilkin County Sheriff's Office," Dirkes said. "They were extremely helpful with this case."

Osakis dairy farmers Bob Massmann and Norb and Lori Johnson traveled to Barnesville to identify and retrieve their three missing calves.

Massmann said the calves appeared to be fed and well cared for during their 12 days away from home.

Although all turned out well, Massmann said the incident will remain in his mind for some time.

"It does bother you quite a bit," he said. "It makes you wonder about people today. Just going on a farm and taking what's not theirs."

Greta Petrich is a reporter at The Osakis (Minn.) Review, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.