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20-year-old from Cosmos pleads guilty to felonies in Atwater burglary case, will pay $11K in restitution

WILLMAR -- A third teen has pleaded guilty to felony charges for his role in burglarizing and damaging two Atwater businesses in October.

Damon Dwight Wiederhoft, 20, of Cosmos, pleaded guilty Tuesday to liability for crimes of another/third-degree burglary and third-degree burglary in Kandiyohi County District Court. As part of a plea agreement, five additional felony charges, plus one misdemeanor, will be dismissed and he will be obligated to pay $11,879.97 in restitution, jointly with his co-defendants. He will be sentenced June 15.

Wiederhoft is one of three young men charged in the crimes. Austin Thomas Klinghagen, 18, of Grove City, was sentenced March 30 to five years of probation, $1,000 in fines and 90 days of jail time. Kyle Richard Litzau, 18, of Atwater, was sentenced April 30 to 90 days in jail, $1,000 in fines and five years of probation.The three also faced charges in Meeker County District Court of burglary, theft and property damage for three Grove City businesses burglaries two days after the Atwater incidents.

Klinghagen was sentenced April 27 to 45 days in jail, five years of probation and $500 in connection to those incidents. Litzau was sentenced April 30 to 30 days in jail, five years of probation and a $500 fine. Wiederhoft has pleaded to a felony charge and will be sentenced June 3.

The local charges were filed after a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy was called on a burglary report Oct. 16 at Atwater Ag. Employees had arrived that morning to find someone had entered the building and gone through the offices. A fax machine and calculator were damaged. Candy bars and a camera were stolen. A briefcase containing personal checks, a watch and bottle of liquor was stolen.

It was later recovered near Litzau's residence. The damage was estimated at more than $2,000.

Another of-ficer was called the same day by one of the owners of Island Pines Golf Course. The man said he could see two of the course's golf carts in a nearby creek. Two other carts were found at other locations. The total damage to the carts was estimated at $4,062.

At the golf course, the officer found the pro shop had been entered and ransacked. Papers, files, score cards, golf balls and other merchandise were thrown about the floor. A printer, computer and cash register were damaged, and it appeared golf clubs had been used to smash holes in the wall and to smash beverage containers.

Golf course officials tallied the damage -- not including the golf carts -- to be $4,430. A number of items estimated at more than $2,000 had also been stolen from the club.

That same day, Atwater police were informed that the Meeker County Sheriff's Office had investigated the Grove City burglaries. Through the investigation, officers learned Klinghagen and Litzau had allegedly done graffiti damage in Meeker County and that stolen items were stored at the home of a relative of Wiederhoft. Officers went to the home and found stolen computers, electronics and other items from both the Atwater and Grove City burglaries.