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Burglars shoot doors on businesses in Milan, Clara City, Minn.

MONTEVIDEO -- Burglars used a shotgun to blast glass doors on two Chippewa County businesses located 68 miles from one another.

They may also be responsible for shooting out the windows and the radiator of a pickup truck parked at the Lac qui Parle Valley High School in rural Madison.

The burglars fired a shotgun and shattered the glass on the doors to Bergen's Prairie Market in Milan and the Qwik-N-EZ gasoline station and convenience store in Clara City.

Both burglaries and the case of vandalism were discovered Thursday morning.

The burglars entered Bergen's Prairie Market and stole cigarettes and other tobacco products, along with candy bars.

The burglars did not enter the Qwik-N-EZ. The shotgun blast triggered an alarm, and only one of two glass panes on the door shattered open.

A shotgun was used to shoot out the windows on a red, 1991 Ford pickup and damage its radiator. The truck was parked at the Lac qui Parle Valley High School, according to Sheriff Rick Halvorson.

Chippewa County Sheriff Stacy Tufto said the use of a firearm in the commission of a burglary aggravates the severity of the offense.

Persons with information that could assist the investigation are encouraged to contact the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office at 320-269-2121 or the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office at 320-598-3720.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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