Brainerd woman faces stalking charges after allegedly installing tracking device in vehicle
A 30-year-old Brainerd woman who allegedly put a tracking device in her ex-fiance’s vehicle faces stalking charges after several reported incidents to area law enforcement.
Brita Johanna Springstead appeared Feb. 14 in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd, where she faced charges including a felony count of stalking and misdemeanors of falsely reporting a crime, trespassing, refusing to leave and disorderly conduct. A public defender was assigned to represent Springstead.
According to the criminal charges filed against Springstead, the incidents started Jan. 9, when a Crow Wing County deputy responded to a verbal domestic dispute at a day care center in Brainerd. In that instance, Springstead was accused of verbally attacking a man inside the day care, prompting the day care owner to call 911. Springstead was asked to leave the property multiple times and was yelling profanities in front of children.
On Jan. 21, while a Crow Wing County sheriff’s investigator was on the phone with the victim, Springstead struck his vehicle with the front tire of her vehicle while she parked next to him in the Crow Wing County Judicial Center parking lot, the complaint stated. Springstead acknowledged hitting the man’s vehicle but told the investigator it was not on purpose.
On Jan. 22, the victim told the investigator he received up to 60 text messages in a two-day period from Springstead, and Springstead mentioned to him that she knew how to “ping” people’s phones and locate them, which is why she was able to find him at various locations.
On Jan. 31, the victim was at a Baxter bank when he saw Springstead drive by, make a U-turn and stop in the roadway. The victim proceeded to the Crow Wing County Community Services building and observed Springstead’s vehicle enter the parking lot. Community services employees told investigators the man was making a child support payment when Springstead approached him and began yelling at him.
The investigation turned up nine-plus calls to law enforcement since the beginning of 2020 reporting Springstead showing up at various places where the victim was. There were similar calls to law enforcement in 2019. The incidents were reported to Nisswa and Baxter police departments and the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office.
The victim also reportedly found a tracking device in his vehicle, plugged into the diagnostic port under the steering column.
The victim said since Jan. 31, he received several messages from Springstead, including, “I’ll ensure you can never move on,” “I’ll ensure this haunts you (for) what position you left me in,” and “Like a ghost (I) will haunt you forever.”
On Feb. 13, officers responded to a Baxter restaurant for a report of stalking. The victim’s mother drove his truck to the restaurant because she and the victim believed Springstead was still stalking him. They parked the vehicle so they could see it from the restaurant. A short time later they observed Springstead park in the adjacent business parking lot, exit her vehicle and immediately approach his vehicle. She walked around the vehicle then looked inside. She then entered the restaurant and saw the victim’s mother and left the business.
Springstead was arrested following the Feb. 13 incident and booked into the Crow Wing County Jail. She has since been released from jail. Her next hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. March 5.