A Des Moines man and an Altoona man were arrested Tuesday morning in rural De Soto after they were allegedly observed on security video inside a motor vehicle storage yard.
Justin Wayne Sparks, 42, of 1125 Ranchel Dr., Des Moines, was charged with third-degree burglary, providing false identifying information to a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, and he was arrested on a Marshall County warrant for violation of probation.
Wesley Wayne Wilson, 43, of 304 Fourth St. S.W., Altoona, was charged with third-degree burglary.
The incident began about 5 a.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Armstrong Drive in DeSoto, where Dallas County Deputy Sheriffs responded to a report of an alarm at a motor vehicle storage lot.
The alarm company reported that surveillance video showed two men “with large black backpacks, walking around within the fenced-in area of the parking lot,” according to court records.
Deputies arrived and were assisted by Iowa State Patrol Troopers in searching the facility. The men were found allegedly “attempting to flee” in “a wooded area to the east of the” storage yard, according to court records. “After a short period of resistance, both subjects were detained at the scene.”
Law enforcement also allegedly found “two bicycles, a maroon backpack, camouflage backpack and a gray duffel bag” in the same wooded area, according to court records. When an ISP Trooper moved one of the backpacks, “he felt what he believed to be a reciprocating saw being activated.”
Items resembling catalytic converters were allegedly visible inside the backpacks, and the storage business later confirmed “that there are two catalytic converters missing from their yard in the area where Wilson and Sparks were observed on video,” according to court records.
At first Sparks told the deputies that his name was “John,” but he “refused to give his last name multiple times,” according to court records. He was at length accurately identified by law enforcement using Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles records.
Sparks was transported to the Dallas County Sheriff’s office. In the seat where he was riding, a deputy allegedly found “a small, plastic baggy tucked below the seatbelt buckle” on the seat “in the area Sparks had been lying during transport,” according to court records. The “white/clear crystalline substance” in the baggy “field tested positive as methamphetamine.”
Sparks is held in the Dallas County Jail without bond in advance of an initial appearance in Dallas County District Court.
Sparks was convicted of third-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft in 2020 in Marshall County District Court. He was convicted of second-offense possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine in 2019 in Polk County District Court. He was convicted of a controlled substance violation in 2013 in Polk County District Court.
Wilson is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $5,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for an initial appearance July 28 in Dallas County District Court.
Wilson was convicted of second-degree theft in 2007 in Polk County District Court.
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.