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The former chief of Alexandria Police Department has been charged with theft by swindle, after allegedly using the city credit card for more than $65,000 in personal purchases.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced Friday that Richard Wyffels, 57, has been arrested at his Alexandria home following "a year-long investigation" into alleged financial crimes.

Wyffels retired as chief of Alexandria PD in September 2020, after more than 30 years in law enforcement.

A criminal complaint states that a series of purchases and goods on city credit cards over the period between 2014 and 2020 could not be accounted for, some of which were eventually found in Wyffels' possession, some of which were sold apparently by Wyffels, while others have not been recovered.

BCA investigators ultimately found $65,724-worth of purchases made by Wyffels using the city-issued credit card, which were seemingly for personal use rather than department use.

The list of purchases allegedly made by Wyffels, but which were not found in Alexandria PD possession, is extensive. Here's the list from the criminal complaint. 

Computers, snow shovels, stamps, external hard drives, tow ropes, light bulbs, computer software, a Star Tribune subscription, cell phones, cell phone services, a Nest smoke/carbon monoxide sensor, lawn care tools, ethernet cables, headphones, Schlage door handles, Nest surveillance cameras, televisions, extension cords, ladders, step stools, 25 driveway markers, HDMI cables, electrical dimmer switches, a marine battery, folding tables, a label maker, Wi-Fi equipment, sprinkler equipment, Stihl lawn care equipment, printer ink/supplies, a container of chemical spray, an automotive battery, hoses, hose nozzles, a laminator, computer anti— virus subscriptions, rodent control products, a computer graphics card, a container of acetone, a pair of chemical gloves, charging cords, an Apple iPad, mops, a hardwood floor chair mat, SSD cards, power outlets, a spotting scope, and a significant number of fuel purchases that exceeded the maximum number of gallons Defendant's squad car held.

Investigators spoke with staff at the city and Alexandria PD, who clarified the process for booking services such as lawn care and snow removal, as well as the process for reporting purchases made using city credit cards.

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The complaint details an instance in which Wyffels allegedly used the city credit card to buy a Swarovski Spotting Scope and several accessories for $4,920.85.

When he was questioned about the purchase in March 2021, he claimed the scope had gone missing from a tote left outside the police department. However, further investigation found he had sold it via eBay a year earlier.

Investigators found that Wyffel sold at least 10 other items he bought using the city credit card for a combined $12,388.47.

A search of Wyffels' home found a number of the items purchased using the city credit card in his property.

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