Austin man pleads guilty to multiple theft charges

Published 1:26 pm Saturday, December 9, 2017

An Austin man who stole money from Apollo Liquor and attempted to steal a woman’s purse at Walmart appeared on Tuesday in Mower County District Court.

Christopher Nathaniel Easley, 26

Christopher Nathaniel Easley, 26, pleaded guilty to four counts of felony theft from a person, one count of felony theft by taking movable property without consent, and one count of felony simple robbery as part of a plea agreement.

He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges on Oct. 17. An additional charge of felony theft from a person will be dismissed at the sentencing.

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Police were called to Apollo Liquor on Sept. 7 regarding a theft that occurred at the gas station attached to the store. Two employees said approximately $7,000 in cash and checks, divided between four bank bags, had been stolen.

Video surveillance from the store showed Easley taking four bank bags when employees were distracted by a customer or not at the cashier station.

A tattoo over his right eye helped police identify Easley, as well as a lighter with a red clip recovered from his jail property from a subsequent arrest.

Easley was arrested on Sept. 12 after police were called to Walmart about an attempted purse theft. He was identified through Walmart’s security footage.

Police conducted a search warrant on the residence of Easley’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he was known to stay. They found items linking him to other purse thefts in the area, including:

• $200 stolen from a purse at the Austin Public Library on Aug. 10;

• A wallet containing $125 stolen in the Hy-Vee parking lot on Aug. 21;

• A wallet stolen from McDonald’s on West Oakland Avenue on Aug. 29; and

• A purse containing $60 and a $40 Macy’s gift card stolen from Walgreen’s on Sept. 10.