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Authorities make arrest in Hastings, Minn., case in which vandal spray-painted six homes and several cars

Authorities in Hastings have arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly spray-painting swastikas, racially charged messages and other offensive material on a half dozen houses and several cars on Dec. 2.

Police arrested Alex Russell Nowlan Thursday night after receiving a tip, Police Chief Paul Schnell said.

Authorities matched that lead with surveillance footage of a man buying two cans of spray paint at a Hastings store on Dec. 2, less than eight hours before the homes were vandalized.

"A person called and indicated they had seen or heard about the incident in the local media," Schnell said. "They identified this man. Then we matched that against some video surveillance footage that we had."

The Hastings (Minn.) Star-Gazette is owned by Forum Communications Co., also the parent company of the Woodbury Bulletin.