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Willmar girl pleads to motor vehicle theft charge, another dismissed

WILLMAR — A 16-year-old Willmar girl pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of motor vehicle theft, for taking a car in January in Willmar.

Another felony theft charge, for taking a vehicle that she crashed into a utility pole in March in northern Renville County, against Charliyn Justine Rodriguez will be dismissed.

Her dispositional hearing will be May 15. As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, three additional misdemeanor charges of motor vehicle tampering and underage consumption will also be dismissed.

Felony charges against 16-and 17-year-old juveniles are public record.

The first set of charges was filed after Willmar Police responded on Jan. 11 to a report from a relative that Rodriguez had come home intoxicated, cut her hand on a glass and then left the home on foot. The officer responding to the call stopped nearby to check on a vehicle, where a person was scrapping frost from the windows and a person was sitting in the vehicle, before going to the residence.

 At the residence, the officer realized the person in the car was Rodriguez and an alert was issued to other officers to look for the vehicle. The car was located at a nearby gas station and Rodriguez was arrested, taken for medical attention for her injured hand, and then interviewed. She admitted that she had been drinking and that she took the vehicle

The second set of charges was filed after March 25, when a 1995 Buick was reported stolen around 6:15 a.m. along the 1300 block of 13th Street Southwest. Willmar police released information to area law enforcement agencies about the vehicle and received information from Renville County later that same morning.

Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable had responded around 7:50 a.m. Tuesday to a crash about four miles north of Olivia, in which none of the four youths in the vehicle were injured when the car entered the ditch and struck a utility pole.

Rodriguez said that she was the driver of the vehicle, and that the others in the vehicle were encouraging her to “make doughnuts” while she was attempting to make a U-turn when the crash happened. She was arrested and said she took the car, drove to Olivia and then to Bird Island to pick up the fourth person in the vehicle.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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