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Theft

WILLMAR -- The theft of a digital music player was reported around 4 p.m. Tuesday at Ridgewater College, 2101 15th Ave. N.W. The caller reported the Zune player was taken from a coat pocket.

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SPICER -- The theft of a propane tank was reported around 4 p.m. Tuesday along the 6800 block of 150th Avenue Northeast.

Property damage

WILLMAR -- Damage to a coin-operated washing machine and the theft of quarters from it were reported around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Fairview Apartments, 1105 24th St. N.W.

Assault

WILLMAR -- The assault and robbery of a man Tuesday evening at a rural Willmar location remains under investigation by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, according to Chief Deputy Randy Kveene.

A 54-year-old man informed law enforcement around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday that he had been assaulted by two men and robbed of cash. The man was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Tracy Lynn Pillatzki, 35, of Willmar, was sentenced to five years of probation and 30 days in the county jail on a felony charge of theft for using a stolen credit card to purchase items from local stores.

Pillatzki was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,550, jointly with her co-defendants, obtain her GED, attend a victim impact panel, apologize and be evaluated for the cognitive skills program and follow the recommendations given.

As part of a plea agreement, three additional felony charges were dismissed. She received a stay of imposition on her sentence. Under the stay, her conviction could be reduced to a misdemeanor if she complies with the court's conditions.

Pillatzki was one of four people charged in the case. Jorge Armando Benavides, 20, and Amber Lynn Pillatzki, 28, of Willmar, pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor financial card transaction fraud charges and were both sentenced to two years of probation, $400 fines and were ordered to pay restitution. Mahmoud Ameen Abdul Shareef was sentenced to 17 months in prison, a $50 fine and was ordered to pay restitution on a felony charge of financial transaction card fraud.

The charges were filed after an Olivia woman reported her purse stolen at the local Arby's restaurant on Dec. 10. Shareef and Pillatzki worked together to conceal the purse under a jacket while he was working at the restaurant.

A Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy identified Pillatzki and Shareef on a video showing them using a credit card from the purse to make purchases Dec. 11 at Wal-Mart in Willmar. The group also used credit cards in the purse at a number of other stores to purchase $2,276 in items ranging from a Playstation to a ring and shoes. The purse also held two pairs of prescription glasses, medicines, an inhaler, billfold and other items, valued at $1,100.

- Sergio Ramos, 34, of Raymond, was sentenced Monday to 15 months in prison, which was stayed, three years of probation, a $1,000 fine and 365 days in the county jail on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

As part of a plea agreement, charges for driving after cancellation - inimical to public safety, failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding and failure to signal a turn were dismissed and he was not sentenced on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, which he had pleaded guilty to in September.

The charges were filed after a July 22 incident. Two Willmar police officers were on plainclothes duty, working on the Gang Enforcement Team in the Plaza One area of First Street, when they noticed a vehicle driven by Ramos. The officers confirmed that Ramos was wanted on arrest warrants and pursued his vehicle into the Cash Wise parking lot. The vehicle didn't stop, continued south on Fifth Street to 19th Avenue, where it turned and proceeded west along that city street.

Once outside of town, the officers recorded speeds of 70 to 75 mph in the 55-mph zone along County Road 15 and speeds up to 80 mph as the pursuit continued on Highway 23. During the pursuit, a dispatcher informed officers that Ramos had called the dispatch center and wanted to speak with a Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputy because he was afraid of getting tased or shot. The pursuit ended south of Priam and both Ramos and a passenger were safely taken into custody.

- Reina E. Melgar, 39, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of wrongfully obtaining assistance.

Under a plea agreement, four additional felony charges of check forgery, perjury, identity theft and violating the declaration requirements for public assistance will be dismissed and she will pay restitution. She will be sentenced Nov. 17. She is also known as Glenda Liz Valquez Cotto.

The charges were filed after Melgar sought and was approved to receive public assistance from the county in October 2007. As a recipient, she was required to report her employment and income and listed no employment, only working in the fields in the summer. An investigation revealed that she was working at Jennie-O Turkey Store under the false name of Cotto and had signed a number of employment documents and received paychecks in that name. She received an overpayment of benefits totaling $227.11.

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