MITCHELL COUNTY, Iowa – Three counties in total were hit with a string of burglaries, but with the use of technology, sheriffs were able to zero in on two suspects.
Police say 33-year-old, Todd Hambly of Swaledale and 31-year-old, Monte Ray Bitker of Mason City are allegedly responsible for several break-ins including one we reported on at Mick’s Town Pump in Mitchell.
They are also being linked to burglaries at the Stacyville Elevator, Meyer Garage and Adams Racing in Mitchell County.
Through video surveillance and a DNA sample found on the scene of another break-in miles away, police were able to tie the suspects back to the area.
Money, cigarettes and pull-tabs were all stolen from the restaurant.
34-year-old Todd Hambly and 31-year-old Monte Bitker, are being charged with multiple counts of burglary in the third degree for breaking into businesses like Mick’s Town Pump in Mitchell.
“When you close up at night, you kind of wonder, are they coming back or are they going to show up when I’m still here? Some of the community members were wondering, are they going to start coming into houses, if there’s nothing here? So everybody’s kind of relieved,” said employee, Denise Michaelsen.
“With technology today, we don’t need to solve a case in 24 hours. We can take weeks. It’s more important to get it right the first time, then hurry through and have it wrong,” said Sheriff Greg Beaver with the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office.
Now with more security measures in place, those with Mick’s say they’re glad to see it’s paid off.
For them, it’s a matter of helping their community feel more secure in the small town restaurant.
“One day, you don’t have anything, the next day, you have everything you need. So these cases do not go cold, they continue and we continue to look at them as information comes in. We will catch you, it’s that simple,” said Beaver.
“It’s a good thing to know that they are going to be suffering the same hardships that they placed on other people,” said Michaelsen.
Hambly was apprehended late last week, while Bitker has been in custody at the Cerro Gordo County Jail on forgery charges.
Hambly is also facing:
-One count of theft in the fourth degree. (Serious Misdemeanor)
-One count of theft in the second degree. (Class D Felony)
-One count of criminal mischief in the first degree. (Class C Felony)