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News Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

This is the records summary for Aug. 12.

Burglary

SPICER -- Two golf carts were taken from the storage building at Little Crow Country Club of rural Spicer. The break-in and theft occurred July 23 but was reported Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.

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Phone scam

NEW LONDON -- The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office is investigating a phone scam reported Wednesday by a rural New London resident. The resident said the scam involved the loss of $3,190.

Graffiti

WILLMAR -- Gang graffiti was spray-painted on a West Central Sanitation dumpster parked at the Frito Lay office on East Highway 12, according to a report to the Willmar Police Department. The cost of repainting the dumpster was estimated at $135.

Thefts

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Police Department received a report Wednesday of the theft of two sets of solar lights valued at $120 from a residence in the 1000 block of Becker Avenue Southeast.

The police department also received a report of the theft of a $461 trailer winch and a $60 3-ton Menards floor jack from the rear of a pickup at Kandi Steel. The theft was reported Wednesday.

Arrests

BENSON -- The Benson Police Department reported the arrest of an individual who attempted to flee a police officer on Aug. 6.

Benson Police Chief Jim Crace said Wednesday that Sgt. Mike Jambor was notified that Charles Jacob Whitcup, address not reported, was wanted on a felony arrest warrant from the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Whitcup was believed to be in a garage in the 200 block of 15th Street South in Benson.

Upon arrival at the residence, Jambor noticed an open door on the garage. Once Jambor called for Whitcup, the doors slammed closed. Soon after, one of the doors opened. Whitcup emerged and was told he that he was under arrest.

Whitcup fled on foot, disobeying all commands. Jambor pursued and yelled at Whitcup to stop. Whitcup continued to disobey commands and flee. Jambor used his Taser, striking Whitcup and ending the pursuit. Whitcup was transported to the Swift County Benson Hospital and treated for injuries sustained from a fall after being tased.

Whitcup was then transported to the Kandiyohi County Jail to be held on the warrant as well as a charge of fleeing a peace officer, other than a motor vehicle. The Benson Police Department was assisted by the Swift County Sheriff's Office.

In a separate incident on Aug. 7, Benson Police arrested Bernard Michael Drivdahl, 53, of Benson in connection with a burglary earlier in the day at Tom's Service in Benson. Police said the business was forcibly entered the prior night and that a motor vehicle and tools valued at thousands of dollars were stolen.

The vehicle was soon located by Swift County Deputy Chris Joyce in the ditch of a gravel road southwest of Benson. Officers found that the suspect had left some of the stolen tools in the vehicle. Their investigation revealed that the suspect had also tried to start the vehicle on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence, said Crace Wednesday.

After completing an investigation and interviewing multiple persons of interest, police wrote an application for a search warrant and started the process of having it signed by a district court judge. While waiting for the search warrant to be signed, Crace located the suspect riding in a motor vehicle in Benson and he was arrested.

The search warrant was signed and executed on Drivdahl's residence in Benson. Officers recovered approximately $25,000 worth of tools that were stolen from Tom's Service.

Drivdahl faces multiple felonies including burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

"I am extremely pleased with the way that this investigation turned out," said Crace. "It was great that we got him in custody in short order and that we were able to recover Tom's tools so he could have them in order to do business on Monday morning."

District Court

Kandiyohi County

n Ricardo Daniel Gomez, 34, of Willmar was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Michael J. Thompson to serve 50 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. Gomez pled guilty on June 30 to an amended charge of second-degree drug sale for selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force agent in October 2009. Gomez was given credit for serving 203 days in jail and was ordered to pay $140 in fine and fees.

As part of a drug investigation last year into the sale of meth in the Willmar area, task force agents worked with a confidential informant who could buy drugs from Gomez, a sister and at least three of his brothers. The informant used task force funds to buy meth on Oct. 16 and 30. The purchases totaled 12.6 grams.

n Judge Michael J. Thompson scheduled a Sept. 15 sentencing date for Eric Eudell Heffron, 22, of Willmar. Heffron pled guilty Tuesday to fifth-degree controlled substance crime for selling 14.4 grams of marijuana to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant on Oct. 1, 2009. According to the complaint, Heffron made the drug sale at a home in southeast Willmar.

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