A Howard man has been charged in connection with a fire that destroyed a large shed on the south side of Lake Madison last month.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports that 43-year-old Wade Haak of Howard stole four boxes of American Eagle Silver coins from the building and then started the fire on January 21st to conceal the theft that he had committed. Haak has been charged with Grand Theft, 1st Degree Arson, and, in the alternative, Reckless Burning. He is in the Lake County Jail on a 15-thousand dollar cash only bond.
Lake County Emergency Responders were called to the scene of the fire near the intersection of 237th Street and Killarney Park Drive just before 2:30 p.m. on January 21st. The fire was fully engulfed inside the building when they arrived and they worked to protect other structures around the building. During the course of the investigation, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office became aware of the theft of the silver coins from the building. The investigation revealed that Haak stole the coins that were secured in a safe inside the building. The Sheriff’s Office says Haak not only admitted to the theft of the coins, but also to starting the fire to conceal the theft.
The investigation into the incident continues to determine other victims and the loss sustained with property inside the building.
Agencies that assisted in this incident and investigation include the fire departments from Madison, Ramona, Wentworth, Chester, and Nunda, along with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the state Fire Marshal’s Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.