Police say Burlington man caught stealing from campsites

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Police say a man from Burlington, Iowa stole food, a grill, and electronics from campsites at Big Hollow Campground in Sperry.

Campers reported items missing from their primitive campsites Saturday, June 22, 2013.  The first victim reported missing a Styrofoam cooler full of meat as well as a computer, leather case and wireless mouse.   Another victim reported missing a black free-standing grill, a canvas bag and food.

Police said both victims suspected a couple who were also camping in the area in connection with the thefts.  When police identified the couple, they searched their campsite and vehicle but did not find any of the missing items.

The next day, a deputy and park ranger said they went to the Burlington home of the couple to follow up on their investigation.  That’s when the deputy and ranger said they saw the missing cooler sitting out in plain sight.  When they showed a photo of the cooler to the victim, they got confirmation that it was the stolen cooler.

Police said Anthony Ahlen-Prado, 29, later admitted to stealing the items missing from the other campsites.  Police said they found all of the stolen items, except some of the food, at Ahlen-Prado’s home.

Ahlen-Prado was arrested June 26, 2013.

Court records show Ahlen-Prado was charged with one count of third-degree burglary and one count of third degree theft.   Jail records show he was appointed a public defender and later released from the Des Moines County Jail on his own recognizance in lieu of $2,000 bond for each count.  He’s next due in court July 5, 2013.