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Series of small crimes has SE Iowa man facing big sentence

Jail Photo WATSON 1.JPG

A Lockridge, Iowa, man could spend 25 years in jail for stealing less than $1,000 from a local retailer.

According to court records, Tyler James Watson, 25, is facing one count of Ongoing Criminal Conduct.

That's a Class B felony.

The charge stems from a series of thefts Watson is alleged to have committed between March and July of this year.

Watson is accused of repeatedly stealing items from the Fairfield Walmart.

Those items included a Fitbit, stereo parts and books with total value of $847.98.

Taken individually, the ten misdemeanor charges of Theft in the 3rd Degree wouldn't mean serious jail time for Watson.

But as Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille explained to KTVO, it's the repeated nature of Watson's thefts that have him facing years in jail.

Dille says that under Iowa law, anything done on an ongoing basis for a financial benefit is considered Ongoing Criminal Conduct.

A series of thefts clearly qualifies under the statute, which Dille says is very broad.

Watson was originally arrested in August. He then bonded out.

He was rearrested last week after admitting he had violated the terms of his pretrial release.

Those violations included using methamphetamine.

He is currently scheduled to face a jury in December.

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