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Police investigate Newman school burglary, arrest two suspects

MASON CITY – Local law enforcement investigated a burglary at Newman school in Mason City that resulted in thousands of dollars in losses and later arrested two suspects.

On March 20, 2020, at about 5:00 a.m., officers of the Mason City Police Department began investigating a burglary that occurred at Newman Catholic School, located at 2445 19th St SW. Officers worked closely with staff to determine the burglary occurred just hours before and approximately $17,000 in tools and educational equipment were missing. The school’s surveillance equipment showed two subjects enter the locked school and gather several items from various locations within the building. The gathered items were then loaded into a vehicle and driven away by the two subjects. The surveillance equipment was paramount in helping officers determine who was responsible for the burglary.

Officers applied for and were granted a warrant to search two separate residences in Mason City in an attempt to locate the stolen property. On the morning of March 22, 2020, the search warrant was served by the Special Operations Group of the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force due to the heightened safety risk to officers. As a result of the investigation, two subjects were arrested and charged with the burglary of the Newman Catholic School. Several of the items that had been stolen from the school were recovered during the search of one of the residences. Officers also served two subsequent search warrants in connection to the criminal activity surrounding those involved in the burglary.

Nathanial Pope (37) of Mason City is charged with 3rd Degree Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Eric Francis (49) of Mason City is charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both men were held for bond at the Cerro Gordo County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing and the police department is likely going to make more arrests. If you have any information regarding the burglary or know where any of the stolen items may have gone, you are encouraged to contact MCPD at 641-421-3636. The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation.

Eric Francis
Pope, Nathaniel Elmer
(previous jail photo)
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