For years Michael Junge has been trapping gophers for his employer, who was endlessly hounded by the small critters on his Minnesota farm. Junge catches about 15 gophers a day and stores their feet in his garage. The local government shells out three dollars for every pair of gopher feet to encourage pest control and Junge actually makes a pretty decent profit off his nightly gatherings.
Then one night when he checked in on the freezer where he had kept the feet, Junge discovered to his dismay that someone had swiped the entire lot. Not accepting that he lost months of work, Junge called the police.
According to ABC 6, it was fairly easy for law enforcement to track down the thieves.
“The [responding] officer checked around with the various townships and was trying to determine if anybody had turned in a large about of gopher feet and it was discovered that Harmony Township had received many, many gopher feet,” said Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson.
Investigators discovered that roughly 1,400 pairs of stolen feet were turned in for bounty money, raking in an estimated $4,700. Officers suspect that Tina Garrison and her son Junior Dillion broke into the garage and took the entire haul in one night. As it turns out, Junge had a passing connection to Dillion, who had once been to his house. Dillion previously dated Junge’s girlfriend’s daughter. When charged with four counts of theft, the mother and son denied that the feed had belonged to junge. If found guilty, they face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
As for Junge, he says he just wants some of the money back. In the meanwhile he will be installing new locks on his garage.