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This is the records summary for Dec. 12.


WILLMAR — The theft of a gaming system from a vehicle was reported around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday along the 400 block of First Street South.

Property damage

WILLMAR — Damage to a vehicle was reported around 4 p.m. Tuesday along the 300 block of Lakeland Drive Southeast.

No injuries when car crashes into Legion

WILLMAR — A 2013 Ford Focus, driven by Richard Wog, 72, of Willmar, crashed around 3:25 p.m. Tuesday into the Willmar American Legion, 220 19th Ave. S.W.

According to the crash report, Wog had pulled into a parking stall on the north side of the building and then the car crossed the sidewalk and struck the building. Wog’s foot may have slipped off the brake pedal and onto the accelerator, according to the report.

No one was injured in the crash, which did cause damage to the wall of the building.

District Court, Kandiyohi County

- Duane Louis Gonzales, 31, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony theft charge for taking electronic equipment from the local Target store.

Sentencing was set for Jan. 14.

The charge was filed after May 13, when Target officials reported the theft of electronics from their store. The thefts came to light when another employee reported that a personal iPad had been stolen and store security footage showed Gonzales stealing the iPad.

 When he was interviewed by law enforcement officers, he admitted to stealing about $17,000 worth of merchandise over the course of a year. The merchandise included more than 40 iPads along with iPods, cameras, video games, compact discs, food and drinks.

Gonzales admitted to selling the merchandise for half price on Craigslist and to stealing merchandise for another employee, who also sold items on Craigslist. Store records indicated that some merchandise was missing the days Gonzales worked in freight receiving.

The total value of the items stolen between March and May of this year was $22,463.56.

- Omar Escalante, 23, of Renville, made his first appearance Wednesday on two felony charges, for offering a forged check and for aggravated forgery.

Unconditional bail was set at $30,000. His next appearance in both cases is Dec. 23.

Escalante is one of four people charged in the forgery case. Stanley Gutierrez, 23, of St. Cloud, faces two felonies for check forgery. His next appearance is Jan. 29. Samuel Lee Berends, 21, is charged with one felony for check forgery. His next appearance is Dec. 16. Oscar Escalante, 23, of Renville, faces one felony for check forgery and has a warrant for his arrest.

According to the complaint, the investigation began when Renville police reported to Willmar police that a Renville man had reported checks forged on his account had been cashed at two Willmar businesses. Escalante was identified as one of four people who had forged a total of $5,150 on checks between Oct. 5 and 13.

According to the aggravated forgery complaint, Omar Escalante was arrested and booked into the Kandiyohi County Jail on July 5. He allegedly gave his twin brother’s name, that of Oscar Escalante, during the booking process and signed a release form in his brother’s name.

Omar was arrested again on Sept. 19, and again booked into the county jail, but this time he gave his real name, that of Omar Escalante. Booking photos from both incidents show a man with a distinctive neck tattoo.

Investigators interviewed Oscar Escalante and determined that he was in Texas on July 5 and confirmed that he doesn’t have a neck tattoo.


It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.