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Two appear on charges related to series of thefts from Little Crow Country Club

WILLMAR -- Two men made their first appearances in Kandiyohi County District Court on felony charges connected to a series of thefts at the Little Crow Country Club of New London.

Joseph Clayton Schaeffer, 38, of Spicer, is accused of four felonies -- third-degree burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and fifth-degree drug possession. He also faces a misdemeanor theft charge.

Michael Allen Nelson, 44, of Willmar, is charged with three felonies, including third-degree burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.

The men are charged with the theft and possession of a number of items from the country club from June through November this year. The items include sets of keys, golf clubs and bags, numerous smaller golf-related items, cash from a pop machine, two-way radios and 75 to 100 gallons of gasoline.

During a search of Schaeffer's property, authorities found marijuana plants drying. The plants weighed 708 grams, which is nearly 1.6 pounds.

Law enforcement began investigating in late September after receiving an anonymous letter connecting Schaeffer to an unrelated crime. A deputy who went to Schaeffer's residence saw items that appeared to have been stolen.

A surveillance system set up at the country club also yielded video images that appeared to show Schaeffer and another man stealing gasoline.

Nelson allegedly admitted to stealing the gasoline, according to court records, but he denied being involved other thefts at the country club.

Both men were released on the condition they follow a number of conditions, including remaining law-abiding and staying in touch with probation agents. Schaeffer will next appear in court on Dec. 14. Nelson's next court date is Dec. 21.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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