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Young looters take advantage of New Year's Day house fire

The first day of 1999 did not live up to the Helventson family's expectations.

As if a fire that burned more than 50 percent of their home early Friday wasn't enough, young looters hit the house later that day, carting out valuables that had not been destroyed by the fire.

Before the family could come back to the house Friday to salvage their belongings, three boys, ages 13, 14 and 15, broke into their burned-out home at 2802 N A St., taking bicycles and Nintendo equipment, police said. Neighbors saw the boys and called police. The boys were caught in the area and charged with burglary and grand theft, both felonies. Their names are not being released because of their ages.

The Helventsons got all the stolen items back. None of the family was injured in the fire, but their home is uninhabitable.

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