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Authorities: Surber Responsible For Burglary, Arrested in Ottumwa

By Ellis Codjoe, September 06, 2016

On Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at approximately 1:30 p.m., the resident of 509 Clarence Street arrived home and found that their house was in the process of being burglarized.  The suspect fled from the residence and the resident called 911.

Police located the suspect a few blocks from the residence near the intersection of Summit and Harrows Branch.  The suspect then ran into the wooded area after contact with police.

The resident who was burglarized reported that jewelry, personal items, and a handgun were stolen from the residence.  Police also suspected that the recent escapee from Jefferson County, James Surber, was responsible for the burglary.

At approximately 7:26 p.m., the Ottumwa Police Department received a tip that a person matching the description of Surber was in the area of the Casey’s on West 2nd.  Officers arrived and subsequently arrested James Pleas Surber, age 25, of Fairfield, after a short foot pursuit.  Officers also recovered the handgun that had been reported stolen earlier in the day from 509 Clarence.

Surber was arrested on his outstanding arrest warrants for Probation and Parole Violations from Jefferson County.  Additionally, the Ottumwa Police Department also charged Surber with:

  • Burglary 1st Degree, a Class “B” Felony
  • Possession of a firearm by a Felon, a Class “D” Felony
  • Prohibited Acts- Possession of Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor
  • Theft 3rd Degree, an Aggravated Misdemeanor

Surber is being held in the Wapello County Jail.

 Please note the following pursuant to recent Supreme Court rulings:   “A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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