Citizens detain scrap metal thieves

Zachary Thomas Knoll

A citizen's arrest lands three Iowa men in hot water.

Des Moines County Sheriff's Deputies responded to Fisher Metals and Recyclables, located on Golf Course Road in rural Burlington early Thursday morning.

When they arrived, the discovered that the complaintant/victims had apprehended two individuals stealing scrap metal from the business.

Robert Lee Thomson, 19, of Sperry, Iowa and Zachary Thomas Knoll, 18, of Oakville, Iowa were taken into custody by deputies.

A third man, Zachery Ryan Decker, 24, of Burlington was apprehended by deputies and admitted he had been serving as a paid lookout.

The citizens had been patrolling the property after discovering scrap metal thefts the previous night.

The value of the stolen property was about $250.

The three men all face charges of Theft in Fourth Degree and Trespass.

Full press release from the Des Moines County Sheriff's Office

On 08-11-11 at approximately 0013 hrs Des Moines County Sheriff TMs Deputies were dispatched to Fisher Metals & Recyclables, located at 10265 Golf Course Road in rural Burlington, in reference to a theft. Dispatch advised that the complainant/victims had just apprehended two subjects stealing scrap metal from their property there.

Upon arrival deputies detained two subjects, later identified as Robert Thomson and Zachary Knoll, who had been detained by the C/V TMs. The C/V TMs advised at that time that they were patrolling the property after discovering that scrap metal had been stolen there overnight during the past two nights. The C/V TMs advised that they witnessed Thomson and Knoll park their truck a distance away and then enter the property on foot before attempting to steal scrap metal from two large metal hoppers.

The C/V TMs then lead deputies to an area on the property where individuals had stolen three metal radiators sometime during the previous night (overnight 08-09-11). While there deputies located three separate sets of footwear impressions belonging to the suspects. Deputies then checked Thomson and Knoll TMs footwear and discovered that the tread patterns matched two of the suspect impressions. Deputies also checked Knoll TMs truck at the scene and discovered two metal radiators in plain view in the bed.

The C/V TMs identified the radiators as property that had been stolen from them during the previous night, citing a value of approximately $250 total. During a mirandized interview Knoll admitted that he and Thomson went to the property tonight with the intention of stealing scrap metal.

Knoll further admitted that he and Thomson entered onto the property during the previous night and stole the two radiators that were in the bed of his truck. Knoll stated that he and Thomson were with two other individuals at that time however he refused to identify them.

During a mirandized interview Thomson admitted that he and Knoll went to the property tonight with the intention of stealing scrap metal. Thomson further admitted to entering onto the business property two nights ago with Knoll but stated they did not steal anything.

Thomson stated that he and Knoll were with two other individuals at that time, one being Zachery Decker. When asked about the radiators in the bed of Knoll TMs truck, Thomson stated they were legally acquired elsewhere. While on scene deputies made contact with Zachary Decker.

During a mirandized interview Decker admitted that he was the lookout for Knoll and Thomson when they stole the two radiators from the property during the previous night. Decker admitted that he was going to be paid for being the lookout during the theft.

Subsequent to this investigation Knoll, Thomson and Decker were all charged with theft in the fourth degree and criminal trespass.