The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 25, 2013

'Demolition derby' with stolen cars lands another in jail

OTTUMWA — This month's car thefts were not confined to Davis County, moving five law enforcement agencies to chase down — both literally and metaphorically — the suspects responsible for stealing and wrecking the vehicles.

Wapello County Sheriff Chief Deputy Don Phillips scrolled through a list of a total of 18 vehicles that have been stolen in the last two weeks: eight from Davis County, five from Wapello County and five from Jefferson County.

There are now four suspects in custody, though Phillips said he still expects more arrests to be made.

William McCarroll, 18, and Cody Surber, 18, both of Ottumwa, were each charged last week with several counts and varying degrees of theft, all felonies. Both are being held in Davis County Jail on $10,000 cash-only bond and $5,000 cash-only bond, respectively.

A 17-year-old Ottumwa boy, Devan Harland, was also charged with possession of stolen property and several counts of second-degree theft in connection with three cars stolen from Ottumwa and two from Eddyville on Thursday. He's being held in the Lee County Juvenile Detention Center.

On Tuesday, a fourth individual was picked up on a warrant: Jesse James Clawson, 26, of Ottumwa. He was charged with possession of stolen property and is being held in Wapello County Jail on $5,000 cash-only bond.

"For lack of a better term, they were playing 'demolition derby' with these vehicles," Phillips said. "These vehicles sustained a lot of damage, most from running the vehicles into each other. One vehicle is [submerged] in Lake Arrowhead, and one was in the [Des Moines] River behind Winger."

The thefts have proven that people should not leave their keys in their vehicles, Phillips said, something most in rural areas think they can do without worrying about someone stealing their car. Keys were left in nearly all of the 18 stolen vehicles, he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

  • Iowa Lottery Lottery sales top $3 million mark

    OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seasonal forecast Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

Photo reprints