Grand Meadow man pleads guilty to string of thefts

Published 1:34pm Saturday, September 21, 2013

AUSTIN — A Grand Meadow man facing 11 criminal charges for breaking into cars, a public library and a city hall building pleaded guilty to two felony charges on Friday in Mower County District Court.

Cody Wayne Simons, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree burglary.

Felony charges for second-degree burglary of a government building, theft of more than $1,000, theft of public funds and possession of burglary tools, may be dismissed, along with additional charges for gross misdemeanor theft of more than $500 and two counts of misdemeanor theft and fourth-degree property damage.

Authorities spoke with two vehicle owners who both on June 9 reported CD/radio players stolen from their vehicles in Grand Meadow, among numerous other items. One victim pointed authorities to Simons.

Authorities later received a call from the Grand Meadow Public Library, where the director said someone stole $100 from book and quilt sale proceeds, petty cash, DVDs and a digital camera. The Grand Meadow city clerk later reported the cash box at the city hall had been moved from the previous night and was missing $30. The clerk also reported a missing digital camera and pry marks on the door to the office where the cash box was stored. The clerk said Simons had a job cleaning the city hall building, so he had a key to the building but not to the main office where the cash box was. The office door had pry marks on it. City Hall also houses a key to the library.

Authorities executed a search warrant at Simons’ home, and according to the court complaint, they found many of the reported stolen items, along with a pry bar. The complaint added Simons may have cut his hand while breaking into one of the vehicles, and his blood was possibly on an envelope, which was turned over to authorities for testing.

Simons will be sentenced in January.