MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Vietnam veteran is relieved after his fish house that was stolen earlier this week was found.

Mike Lutgen’s fish house was on Grand Lake just north of St. Cloud.

Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, someone took it.

Someone posted the theft on social media, and 24 hours later it was found.

“I’m happy,” Lutgen said.

His son Curt called a cousin, who owns a residential remodeling company.

He used his social media account to alert others of the theft.

“My cousin Sean Lutgen put it on his Facebook page, and he got over 150,000 views on it,” Curt Lutgen said.

Actually, more than 165,000 people viewed or shared the post.

Early Thursday afternoon a friend caught a glimpse of what he thought could be the missing fish house.

“I was test driving a car, and I drove by and I saw it,” Mike Zwilling said. “The giveaway is because it wasn’t cranked down, and I was almost positive it was his house.”

Zwilling drove onto Pleasant Lake and, in an isolated area, found the missing fish house.

“It means a lot,” Lutgen said. “Now I can go fishing again.”

What means even more is the valuable cargo inside was right where he left it.

With a little help from family, the fish house was hooked up and driven back to shore.

Mike said he is thankful for social media and good friends.

“I appreciate it, and probably that’s the only way it [could have been] found,” Lutgen said.

The Stearns County sheriff’s department is investigating the theft.

Reg Chapman

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