Bemidji Police seeking information on dumpsters loaded with fire accelerants and debris

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin issued a release today, requesting the public’s help in identifying those responsible for loading various dumpsters in the downtown area with debris and accelerants on May 30.

Detectives reportedly discovered that Waste Management observed large amounts of cardboard, cut up fence posts, broken pallets, leaves and thistles in various dumpsters.

Specifically, a large dumpster behind the 4th Street ARCO gas station reportedly smelled strongly of gasoline. The dumpsters behind Fozzie’s Smokin’ Bar-B-Q, in the alley across Bemidji Ave. to Minnesota Ave. at the 209, were reported to contain these types of materials.

A trash receptacle near Junkin’ Treasures was reportedly full of thistles, grass and a lighter fluid container, a large construction dumpster contained pallets and bags filled with yard debris near the 4West building, and a dumpster behind the Wild Hare Bistro smelled strongly of kerosene and contained a large quantity of paper and pallet pieces, according to the release.

The dumpsters and trash receptacles in the downtown area were emptied prior to the demonstration, a decision that, according to Mastin, was based on training, tips from the public, and the events that transpired in Minneapolis during the riots after the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police Custody.

Anyone who may be able to identify individuals who placed these items into trash receptacles is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Seaberg at (218)333-8376.



Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.

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