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Online group plots to steal Minnesota's lakes, prompts counter efforts

South Twin Lake in Minnesota. File photo by David Samson / The Forum

A Wisconsin-based plot to steal Minnesota's 10,000-plus lakes is gaining the attention of similar groups of vigilantes.

The plot, first uncovered on the social media sites Facebook and Tumblr, has set the date for midnight Oct. 6, starting at White Bear Lake. The operation's goal is spelled out in its title: "Go to Minnesota and Steal their 11,842 lakes."

Their motive, too, is made clear on their Facebook page: "Just tired of them being so smug with their 10,000 lakes."

The plot appears to have originated in Wisconsin, according to the movement's commander, one Marissa Stockman. According to her Facebook page, Stockman is a senior at River Falls High School and has committed to play volleyball at Illinois State.

Stockman posted the call to arms — or more accurately, buckets — Friday on Facebook, and by Tuesday some 3,500 had signed on, with another 11,000 interested. Some vowed to arrive bearing sponges and Shamwows.

Stockman rallied her followers in this way: "So this might seem impossible but I don't think so, if we bring enough buckets we can do it. You can bring the lakes to your own states idc."

Before long, other factions formed to fight or support the plot, including those aiming to:

• Weigh Down Minnesota's Lakes with Rocks So People Can't Steal Them

• Steal all the rocks from Minnesota so they can't weigh down the lakes

• Put Sharks in Minnesota's Lakes to Deter Theft of our Lakes

• Use tractor beams and subs with laser guys to kill sharks

• Combine All Cabins Into A Robot To Defend Minnesota's Lakes

Stockman said she got the idea after seeing similar posts, such as "Sneak into Iowa and steal their corn." On Friday, she sent her lake-takeover idea to two friends in what she thought was a private post.

"Then I realized it was public," she said Tuesday over her lunch break at school. The two friends — turncoats, from Hastings, Minn. — laughed and told her it would be funny and there was no need to hide it from public view.

By the next day, 100 people had signed up, and 5,000 by Sunday, Stockman said.

Minnesotans apparently have started to fight back. A Sneak into Wisconsin and Steal All Their Cheese movement had 129 people going and 284 interested by Tuesday.

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