Brothers accused of stealing from father’s business

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Jeremiah and Zachariah Garrels

Police filed multiple burglary charges against 20-year-old twin brothers who allegedly stole items from their father’s rental storage business.

Jeremiah and Zachariah Garrels were charged after police stopped a vehicle carrying stolen property in Des Moines County, Iowa on Saturday, September 1, 2012.

Police said they took a report of a burglary Thursday, August 30 at a rental storage shed at 302 North First Avenue in Danville.  The lock and items stored in the shed were missing.  The burglary was thought to have happened during the daylight hours.

Deputies were sent to a reported burglary in progress at the same storage shed at about 5:30 p.m. the next day.   Items were missing from several storage units.  Witnesses described the possible suspects and vehicles they saw at the time of the burglaries.

Then on September 1, deputies stopped vehicles and people matching the witness descriptions.  The deputies said they found several of the reported missing items in the vehicles.   A total of five people were detained.

Police said Jeremiah Garrels told them he was the son of the man who owns the rental storage unit business.   Police said Jeremiah originally told them he had his father’s permission to take items from the sheds, but later admitted to using a master key to take items from five storage sheds without permission from his father or the property owners.  Jeremiah allegedly admitted to taking the items home, to sell them later.   He reportedly said his twin brother was with him for most of the thefts.

Police said their father later took Jeremiah’s twin brother, Zachariah, to the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office.  Zachariah also allegedly confessed to using master keys to steal items from at least four separate storage sheds at his father’s business.  He allegedly said he sold some of the items as scrap metal for cash.

Zachariah Garrels was charged with four counts of third-degree burglary.   Court records show he was appointed a public defender.  He was held in the Des Moines County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.   

Jeremiah was charged with five counts of third-degree burglary.   Court records show he was also appointed a public defender.  No information was available about possible bond for Jeremiah.

Both men remained in the Des Moines County Jail as of Thursday afternoon, September 6, 2012.  Both were scheduled for preliminary hearings in court September 11.