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Reward offered for Minn. arsonist

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A reward has been offered for information about an expensive and destructive night at Cannon Falls Campground.

Vandals waged more than $100,000 in damage to trailers parked there, leaving one burned to its floorboards.

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"We were just frightened," said Joanne Charlton, who spends winters watching the campground with her husband, Leon. "It was just an awful experience."

Officers were called at 4:23 a.m. Nov. 5 to the campground for reports of a fire, which turned out to be the trailer. During an investigation of the scene, Goodhue County deputies discovered other trailers had been broken into and vandalized.

Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers said his office is looking into a possible connection with a Hastings incident from the prior week.

"There are similarities," he said, noting that Goodhue and Dakota county authorities are teaming up on the cases.

Charlton said hers was one of the 11 ransacked trailers. The vandals broke a window, entered the Charltons' trailer and threw items around.

There has been no evidence of robbery in the break-ins, but that doesn't leave Charlton any less jarred by the incident -- especially at night.

"You just feel like somebody's watching you," she said, adding that the campground has no history of similar break-ins.

That's true, Albers said.

"It's been a very good campground," he said.

The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office, Cannon Falls Fire Department and Minnesota State Fire Marshall's Office responded to the scene.

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