Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention

The Willmar Police Department has several crime prevention resources and tips available to the public at no cost. If you would like to know what information we have, or how to obtain information, please stop by the Law Enforcement Center or call (320) 235-3100. Crime Stoppers is also a valuable resource recommended to assist citizens in reporting information related to crimes and gives the benefits of being anonymous.rsz_report_crime_wpd_adobestock_61036114
Report a Crime

If you've been the victim of a crime it's really important to report it. We know that sometimes it’s not easy to decide to come forward. But we also know that if no one reports a crime, it’s as if it never happened. If no one reports a crime, the criminal is free to commit more crime, damaging more communities and individuals. It’s also important to report crime for your own practical purposes, like getting a Police Report number so that you can make an insurance claim.

Check Cases

The Willmar Police Department encourages all businesses and citizens alike to use safe check acceptance procedures.  By doing so, the Willmar Police will be in a better position to assist you with bad checks. To assist you, it is important that everyone is aware that the Willmar Police can only accept the following types of worthless checks for investigation and prosecution purposes:

  • NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) – Not enough money inbad-check the account to cover the check. The account holder actually wrote out the check.
  • Account Closed – the check passer had a checking account at the bank where the check is drawn from but closed it and continues to write checks after the account is closed.
  • No Account – the person who writes (passes) the check never had a checking account at the bank. Usually this type of check will be a “counter” check (non-personalized style).
  • Forgery – Either signature (the writer’s, who is also referred to as the “passer” or the endorser’s on the back of the check) has been forged.
Additionally, for the Willmar Police to successfully investigate and prosecute worthless checks, the recipient must have taken the following steps when receiving the check:

  1. You must have identified the passer by a valid picture ID or personally know the individual passing the check.  If you cannot properly identify the passer, the prosecuting attorney cannot prosecute the case.  Acceptable picture ID is considered to be:  driver's license, military ID, student ID, MN ID card, passport, etc.   Birth certificates, library cards, etc. are not picture ID's.
  2. The picture on the ID must be the same as the person passing the check to the recipient.
  3. The check must be initialed by the store clerk who checked the ID and accepted the check.  This helps identify the person needed to testify in court as to the identity of the passer.
  4. The clerk must write down what type of picture ID was presented at the time the check was passed.
Click here to see the Willmar Police Department Dishonored Checks Information Booklet for further information and instructions.The Willmar Police Department is happy to provide instructions to employees on check cashing procedures and identification methods.  Please feel free to contact us at (320) 214-6700, ext. 3101 to make these arrangements.


Grafitti_WPD_AdobeStock_62852427Graffiti is used by groups and individuals to “make their mark” on our community.  Whether for inter-gang communication, marking territory or proclaiming an identity, graffiti is illegal.  Graffiti is sometimes referred to as “tagging”.

The City of Willmar addresses graffiti problems under city ordinance Article VI, Section 9-111 thru 9-117.  This ordinance not only establishes certain offenses related to the application of graffiti, but also spells out the responsibilities of those who are victimized from the application of graffiti to their personal property.

The Willmar City Council has found that graffiti is a public nuisance and is destructive of the rights of property owners and the community as a whole.  It is hoped the ordinance will curb the spread of graffiti and accomplish timely removal of graffiti.  This ordinance enhances and does not substitute for charges of criminal damage to property against offenders in graffiti incidents.

If the graffiti creates an immediate and direct threat to public health or safety, the City may immediately remove the graffiti and charge the abatement expenses to the property owner. 

Removal Products

Most graffiti and tagging are done with spray paint and large permanent markers.  Removal products which are available at local hardware and paint stores work quite well and are not too expensive.  Most of these products are toxic!  Use adequate precautions while using them: gloves, safety goggles, an approved respirator, and adequate ventilation.  Dispose of empty cans and containers properly. 

GRAFFITI REMOVER by KLEAN STRIP – aerosol remover for bare concrete, metal, wood, masonry

GOOF OFF or OOPS! ALL-PURPOSE REMOVER – use on fully-cured painted surfaces, vinyl, brick, wood, concrete, fiberglass to remove marker, spray paint, ink, lipstick, shoe polish

STRIP-X paint stripper, BIX stripper or Tough Job Remover

KILZ  or B-I-N – sealers keep tags from bleeding through; spray or brush-on forms.
New products are constantly marketed; check with local retailers.

Removal Tips

remove_graffiti_AdobeStock_692623General tip:  If you want to paint over graffiti, first prepare the surface with a product like KILZ.  This will seal the graffiti and keep it from bleeding through the new paint. 

You may be able to utilize free paint available through Kandiyohi County’s Recycling Center as a temporary cover before repainting the entire wall.  Sometimes the entire section of wall will need to be repainted, as a small patch which does not match the existing paint can look worse than the tagging.

Brick, concrete
:  Use extra-strength paint stripper or graffiti remover.  Scrub the area with a wire brush, rinse with a forceful stream of water, then allow it to dry.  Some surfaces may have to be scrubbed more than once to completely remove the tag.

Stucco:  Cautiously try extra-strength semi-paste paint stripper or graffiti remover (this may remove the surface finish).  Seal area with a product like KILZ, then paint over with stucco paint.  If the affected area is hit with numerous tags or a very large design, the wall may need to be sandblasted and re-finished.

Wood:  On latex or oil-based painted siding, use a product like KILZ to seal the graffiti. Then paint over with two coats of paint to match the existing siding.  On wood which has been stained and varnished, try a product like the OOPS! remover, wiping it off with a cloth rag.  Bare wood will probably need to be sanded after trying remover. 

Vinyl, steel, or aluminum siding:  Most removers will also take off the surface finish; try on small areas very carefully and sparingly.  OOPS!, Goof Off, or paint stripper may work. WD40 applied immediately after discovery can inhibit the adhesion of paint.  Larger areas can be cleaned immediately with the following mixture:  1/3 C powdered Tide, 2/3 C Spic & Span, 1 Qt Clorox bleach, and 3 Qt water.

Metal:  Try Graffiti Remover or paint stripper.  Some people have had success with carburetor cleaner, but be cautious with it as it is highly flammable.

Fiberglass, Plexiglas, and glass:  Use paint stripper, Graffiti Remover, or Goof Off, following any precautions on the label for your surface.  Use a cloth rag and rinse thoroughly and carefully.  Some people use carburetor cleaner.  Glass can be cleaned with paint stripper.