Prole woman arrested for redecorating motel room

Grace Wangari Wambugu, 30, of Prole, Iowa, was arrested Sunday on a charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief.

A Prole woman was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of giving a makeover to a West Des Moines motel room without the property owner’s permission.

Grace Wangari Wambugu, 30, of 10412 55th Ave., Prole, Iowa, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.

The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday at a motel in the 7600 block of Office Plaza Drive N. in West Des Moines, where an officer of the West Des Moines Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious odor.

The officer “was able to detect a strong odor of paint” upon entering the motel and traced the odor to a room, where the officer made contact with two occupants, of whom one was Wambugu.

Inside the room, the officer “observed pink/purple paint in four different light fixtures, the desk, on the door and on the bed sheets,” according to court records, and Wambugu allegedly “had the same color of paint on her hands and fingers.”

On a night stand, “an empty can of spray paint” was found “in the same color.”

Damage to the motel property was estimated at $650.

Wambugu is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $1,000 cash-only bond. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 24 in Dallas County District Court.

Wambugu was convicted of fourth-degree criminal mischief in 2018 in Polk County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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