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Two Willmar, Minn., men face felony charges for smashing car windows

WILLMAR -- An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for a 26-year-old Willmar man who failed to appear in district court on a felony property damage charge for allegedly smashing numerous car windows with golf clubs.

District Judge Michael J. Thompson issued the warrant after Nicholas John Craik failed to appear in Kandiyohi County District Court. Craik and Daniel Robert Schmidt, 20, of Willmar, both face a first-degree property damage charge in the case. Schmidt's first court date is July 11.

According to the complaint against Craik, the duo allegedly used a 5-iron and a 9-iron to smash the windows and mirrors on nine vehicles during the early morning hours of May 15. The damage vehicles were parked along Third Street Southeast, Third Street Southwest, Seventh Street Northwest and Gorton Avenue Northwest. The total damage estimate was $4,858.57.

The first person to report hearing the men allegedly smashing car windows reported it to Willmar Police around 4:40 a.m. May 15. The victim reported he's seen a man run to get into the passenger seat of a white passenger car that took off northbound on Third Street Southeast. The man's pickup window had been smashed, so he took another vehicle to search for the white car. He located the white car along the 300 block of Becker Avenue Southeast and notified police.

The responding officer noticed pieces of broken tempered glass throughout the passenger side of the car, a broken golf club and an envelope with Schmidt's name on it. The car was impounded. Officers also learned from individuals living at a nearby residence that Schmidt and Craik were known to hang out with each other.

A tip from a citizen led a Willmar officer to interview Schmidt and Craik, who both said they went drinking at Zorbaz in Spicer and then Craik drove the vehicle as Schmidt was breaking car windows with a golf club. Schmidt also allegedly admitted the broken 9-iron club found inside of one of the vehicles was his golf club. The other club was found inside the impounded car, along with a set of clubs missing the two irons.

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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