WILLMAR -- A 16-year-old Willmar boy pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a felony third-degree burglary charge, plus three lesser charges, for allegedly breaking into two garages, stealing beer and slashing tires on vehicles on Nov. 6 in the southwest quadrant of the city.
Albert Martin Navarro was ordered to remain at the Project Turnabout drug and alcohol treatment center, follow the program recommendations and meet weekly with probation officers. His next court appearance is Feb. 18.
In Kandiyohi County District Court, Navarro is also charged with three felony charges for an Oct. 18 graffiti spate on homes and businesses along the city's northeast side and at other locations around town. He will also appear on those charges on Feb. 18.
Navarro is the second person charged in connection to the graffiti incidents. Scott Riley Olson, 18, of Willmar, has pleaded guilty to burglary and property damage charges and will be sentenced next week.
Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-olds are public information.
According to the petition against Navarro, Willmar police were called around 6 a.m. Nov. 7 to a home along Highland Road on a report that tires on two vehicles had been slashed and that beer had been stolen from a refrigerator in a garage. A man reported that an 18-pack of 16-oz. Coors Light had been taken, and that someone had also stolen his beer about a month earlier.
An hour later, police were called to a nearby home, where a man reported someone had broken into his garage through a window and written gang graffiti on a sign. Police also received reports of other tire-slashing incidents on the same day.
A Gang Enforcement Team officer examined the graffiti and recognized it as similar to previous graffiti cases involving Navarro and Olson.
Navarro was interviewed and allegedly said he had scribbled out graffiti that another person put on the sign in the garage and that the other person had slashed tires on vehicles. He did admit, allegedly, to stealing the beer.