RICE -- Three people were arrested Thursday evening after allegedly burglarizing an abandoned house.

Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck says deputies got a call at about 6:00 p.m. from a person living in the 9500 block of Hemlock Road Northwest in Watab Township about three people stealing items from an abandoned house near the former King's Inn building.

Witnesses told deputies they had warned the three suspects to leave as the suspects were walking toward the house. The suspects continued to go into the house and came out about 10-15 minutes later with one of them carrying a box. The suspect carrying the box, eventually dropped it after witnesses told him to drop it.

Witnesses say all three suspects then walked to a car in the Rumor's Bar and Grill parking lot.

Deputies found two of the suspects, 41-year-old Nichole Dixon of Crystal and 52-year-old John Charron of St. Cloud when called to the scene. After a short search, they found the third suspect, 39-year-old Ryan Granger of Crystal.

Heck says Dixon was found wearing a backpack carrying a large flashlight, screwdrivers and a knife. Charron's backpack had metal bars, copper wiring and several other items believed to be stolen from the house. Witnesses identified Granger as the man carrying the box out the house.

Dixon, Charron, and Granger were taken to the Benton County Jail where they are being held on theft and possession burglary tools charges.

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