Detroit Lakes, MN (KROC AM News) - A church in west central Minnesota lost its pastor after he was charged with two minor crimes that police say occurred at a liquor store just before Christmas.

The congregation of First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes was recently told Co-Pastors John and Rachel Simonson had resigned. At last report, the church was in the process of hiring an interim pastor.

Simonson’s resignation came after he was charged in Becker County Court with damaging a car and stealing some liquor from the Detroit Lakes store.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened Dec. 20th. The complaint says Simonson got into a confrontation with another customer inside the store and then left. Surveillance video shows Simonson using a metal device to “key” the person’s vehicle, causing damage estimated at $600. Another video from inside the store showed Simonson taking an “unknown number of shooters” from a display of the small liquor bottles and putting them in his pocket. He left without paying for the bottles.

The 38-year-old Simonson has been ordered to court next month for an evidentiary hearing on criminal damage to property and theft charges.

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