Accused burglar denies 11 charges stemming from string of break-insPublished 7:08am Friday, June 28, 2013
A Grand Meadow man facing 11 criminal charges for breaking into cars, a library and a city hall building pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mower County Court.
Cody Wayne Simons, 24, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary of a government building, two counts of third-degree burglary, theft of more than $1,000, theft of public funds and possession of burglary tools — all felonies. He is also charged with gross misdemeanor theft of more than $500, along with 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 a key to the library, 24 DVDs, a flashlight from one of the vehicles, a radio/CD player, a digital voice recorder, two disk drives and a pry bar.
According to the court complaint, 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.