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Ham Lake man with 44 arrests goes to prison

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A career criminal from the Twin Cities will serve prison time for his most recent scheme in northern Minnesota where he got off with $100 in change from a small business.

The Duluth News Tribune reports 37-year-old Richard Donald Hegquist of Ham Lake was sentenced in Duluth Wednesday to nearly six years behind bars for robbing the Hermantown Car and Pet Wash in July.

Hegquist punched the business owner in the face and caused $1,400 in damage breaking into change machines, but due to his criminal history, a judge threw the book at him.

Hegquist agreed to an above-guideline sentence as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. A not guilty plea would have put him on trial as a "career offender" that comes with a 40-year prison sentence if convicted.

The newspaper says Hegquist has been arrested 44 times in 18 Minnesota counties over nearly two decades and has been convicted for 12 prior felonies.

According to an online court records check, charges filed against Hegquist listed in his extensive criminal background include numerous counts of burglary, robbery, theft, drug possession, DWI and several traffic violations.

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