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Guilt sweeps over thief, who then returns curling rock stolen from Minnesota club

BEMIDJI -- The (emotional) weight was apparently too much to bear. A 42-pound curling rock stolen during the Winterfest on Lake Bemidji earlier this month has been returned with an anonymous note expressing remorse taped to the pilfered plaything...

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A curling rock taken during the Winterfest on Lake Bemidji event earlier this month was returned Thursday, with a note attached. The note reads: “Thought this belonged back here. Sorry, didn’t (m)ean to cause such an inconvenience. (Hopefully) there wasn’t too much trouble.” Photo courtesy of The Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The (emotional) weight was apparently too much to bear.

A 42-pound curling rock stolen during the Winterfest on Lake Bemidji earlier this month has been returned with an anonymous note expressing remorse taped to the pilfered plaything.

Club manager Eric Fenson found the rock Thursday morning outside the door of the Bemidji Curling Club, with a letter signed “Sorry Citizen” attached to the handle.

“Thought this belonged back here,” the note read. “Sorry, didn’t (m)ean to cause such an inconvenience. (Hopefully) there wasn’t too much trouble.”

The theft actually caused quite a bit of “trouble” since the curling event organizers didn’t own the rock. It was rented from the curling club in Crookston -- leaving the Crookston club a rock short of the number required for league play when it was stolen.

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In response, Bemidji curlers mounted an international relief effort by ordering a replacement rock to be delivered overnight from Winnipeg at a cost of about $500.

Terry Mattson, volunteer curling official with the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, said Friday the organizers will be reimbursed for the cost of the rock itself, but they still have to pay the delivery costs, about $82.

They had set up a fund with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to aid Bemidji Youth Curling, the group that benefits from Winterfest curling proceeds.

Matson initially held out hope it would be returned, but as weeks passed, prospects dimmed. The lost rock was publicized in the Bemidji newspaper and on social media, attention which Matson thinks finally pressured the thief to return it.

“For the last week, I’ve been saying ‘Oh, we’ll never see that rock again now, it’s just been too long,’ ” he said. “This social media thing is just amazing. It’s no question in my mind… that had a major influence in getting that rock back.”

Matson said they also filed a police report in order to aid with an insurance claim, which didn’t pan out with the insurance company. As far as Matson is concerned, the matter is resolved -- unless police want to pursue an investigation.

“I’m wondering... do you want to fingerprint this thing?’” he said. “We’re certainly not going to do anything more. Whether that’s something the police think that’s something they should (pursue), I can’t answer that, I guess.”

Related Topics: CRIME
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