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Man with lengthy criminal record suspected in Nevis burglaries

NEVIS - A career criminal recently arraigned in an attempted Walker burglary is suspected in a string of Nevis burglaries three nights before his Walker arrest.

Brian J. Liimatta, 28, of Walker and Akeley, who has been convicted 22 times of various felony, misdemeanor and traffic offenses since 1997, is considered a "potential suspect" in the Nevis break-ins, said Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer.

Liimatta was arrested hiding on a downtown Walker roof at midnight June 17 when citizens spotted him near a pelican landmark on a café rooftop in Walker and called police.

Several Nevis businesses were broken into during the early morning hours of June 14. Cash and liquor was taken at three businesses.

"We're waiting for the evidence to be processed by the state lab," Homer said. When asked if Liimatta had a criminal record, Homer answered, "oh yeah. He's well known to us."

Homer said Liimatta has mainly been arrested in the Walker area, and it concerns him to see the defendant moving into Hubbard County.

Liimatta criminal history shows one arrest in Anoka County, one in Becker, 17 arrests in Cass County, one in Crow Wing, one in Hennepin, one in Morrison and one in Otter Tail County. His prior convictions range from DWI arrests, fleeing, several assault convictions, two convictions for criminal damage to property, several disorderly conduct charges, an escape charge and assaulting a peace officer.

"He could be one of several suspects," Homer said.

Liimatta is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug. 17 on the latest Cass County charges.

Homer said authorities seized the vehicle believed to have been used in the break-ins; crime scene analysts have thoroughly processed it for evidence. Homer declined to say what was found. The vehicle, he believes, is the same one seen on a convenience store videotape taken the morning of the burglaries.