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Thief River Falls police officer arrested on theft charges

A Thief River Falls police officer was arrested Wednesday on allegations that he stole lawnmowers, boats and all-terrain vehicles and re-sold them.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Paul James Kezar, 37, was hired Jan. 5 by the Thief River Falls Police Department. As all such hires, he was on probationary status for his first year.

Kezar, who grew up in Thief River Falls and graduated high school there, previously worked as a sheriff's deputy in St. Croix County, Wis., from 2001-02, and as a police officer in Stillwater, Minn., from 2002-05.

The case broke as Pennington County Sheriff's deputies investigated a report of a stolen lawnmower and tracked down the current owner Tuesday, who told them he bought it from Kezar. That tip led to information that Kezar had been involved in stealing "several large-ticket items," including boats, trailers and ATVs, according to a news release from the BCA, which is leading the investigation.

Kezar is being held in the Marshall County jail in Warren, according to a dispatcher there