Marshall County residents may soon rest easier knowing safety cameras are on the job.

With a $20,000 commitment by the Marshall County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting, that body gave a huge boost to a Marshall County Crime Stoppers’ efforts to install security cameras throughout the county.

But it was County Sheriff Steve Hoffman who made it easier for the supervisors to participate, pledging $20,000 from his department’s 2016-17 budget.

Supervisors Bill Patten, David Thompson, and Steve Salasek all voted for the measure.

Hoffman said Crime Stoppers had enjoyed “incredible” success during its nearly two-year tenure, thanks to county residents, and believes the safety cameras will help deter crime and apprehend criminals.

Crime Stoppers is a national organization offering cash rewards for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The crime fighting initiative creates a cash incentive for tipsters to report information – and they can do it anonymously via an online form, text message or telephone call.

Tipsters can submit data pertaining to a potential suspect’s name, address, race, gender, height, weight, age, hair color, scars and marks, tattoos, clothing or animal ownership.

That information is sent to a third-party server before being rerouted to law enforcement.

The cost of installing a basic system of cameras throughout the county is approximately $58,000, according to RACOM, Inc. of Marshalltown.

Crimes Stoppers board member and local businessman Mark Osmundson emphasized the cameras will be used for security and not traffic enforcement.

Earlier this year, the Marshalltown City Council pledged $20,000 from its budget contingent upon similar investments by the supervisors and Crime Stoppers.

Now it is up to the local Crime Stoppers board to raise their $20,000.

“We have money on hand, but it is specifically reserved for tips,” said Osmundson during his presentation to the supervisors where he requested their contribution.

“We will begin fundraising,” he said.

Crime Stoppers board members have been promoting the safety cameras to local governments this year and last.

Rural communities Haverhill, Melbourne and State Center had recently endorsed the project, said Osmundson.

The radio and television station owner said he and other board members hoped to visit other county towns in the near future.

Crime Stoppers board member and Times-Republican General Manager/Publisher and Mike Schlesinger made two presentations to the Marshalltown City Council.

Schlesinger told them the county plan is modeled after Dubuque’s successful initiative.

That city started with a basic system, and due to its popularity, has expanded significantly to include more than 1,100 cameras.

MCCS officers are Todd Steinkamp, chair; Joel Greer, vice chair; Schlesinger, treasurer; Tami Lichtenberg, secretary; and Larry Raymond, fund-raising. In addition to Osmundson, board members are Bettie Bolar, Ellen Bergman, Carol Hibbs, Mike Miller and Carlos Portes and Holly Reimanschneider.

Donations to Crime Stoppers are tax deductible, and can be sent to: 112 W. Church St., Marshalltown, 50158. For more information, visit marshallcountycs.com.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican, Mike Donahey, Staff Writer
 
 
LE GRAND — The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s information on a recent burglary incident in Le Grand.

According to Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman, a report of a burglary and damage was reported in the early morning hours of June 3 at a Le Grand car wash. The suspect broke into the facility, damaging a door.

“Unfortunately, our leads have not developed in this case,” said Hoffman.

His office is now releasing a still image of video surveillance of the suspect in hopes the public will be able to identify the man.

The suspect was apparently driving a white 1990’s pickup truck.

Those with any information can contact the sheriff’s office or submit information anonymously via Marshall County Crime Stoppers at www.marshallcountycs.com, via text at 247637 (CRIMES), or calling 641-753-1234.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican.


 
 
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Ken Fleege, RACOM
Ken Fleege of the local RACOM Co. presents information about city of Dubuque’s security cameras to representatives of Marshall County towns Monday night at the Marshalltown Pubic Library. The meeting was hosted by Marshall County Crime Stoppers.

Fleege said the installation of 1,000 security cameras in that community has deterred crime and identified perpetrators. Additionally, they have significantly aided fire, police and emergency responders in day-to-day work. Fleege made a similar presentation to the city of Marshalltown.

Crime Stoppers believes security cameras would have the same major positive impact in all Marshall County communities. Crime Stoppers board member Mike Schlesinger emphasized the cameras are for security and crime-fighting, and are not “speed” cameras.


Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican
 
 
The Noon Optimist Club of Marshalltown met at the Best Western Regency Inn on Thursday with President John Danielson presiding. Rev. Michael Herschberger provided the invocation and the club followed with the Pledge of Allegiance. No guests were in attendance besides the meetings guest speaker. Greg DeSaulniers presented the community calendar of events taking place in Marshall County over the next week.

Danielson noted the month of May is “Optimist in Action Month.” He reminded the club of the upcoming Youth Appreciation Luncheon program, which will be held on May 11 at the Marshalltown Public Library and of the Avenue of Flags project, which will have its first work day on Memorial Day, May 29. The Optimist International Junior Golf Iowa State Championship, which will be take place June 8 at Elmwood Country Club and the American Legion Memorial Golf Course.

Danielson introduced the club’s guest speaker, Mike Schlesinger, publisher at the Times-Republican. Schlesinger gave a presentation to the club on the Marshall County Crime Stoppers organization. He noted the organization officially began in September 2015. The organization purchased Tipsoft software recently, which has been very successful in helping solve crimes.

The organization has a current proposal to add security cameras throughout Marshalltown and the Marshall County area. In addition, the security cameras require software to be purchased in order to allow the security camera system to work in its entirety. The idea for the project originated from the city of Dubuque who implemented security cameras and software a few years ago. Schlesinger provided some video examples of the Dubuque security camera system. The Marshall County Crime Stoppers have developed a proposal to purchase the required software and nine security cameras initially. “The software can hold up to 250 cameras if needed, so there is space to grow off the original proposal,” said Schlesinger. The Crime Stoppers organization is proposing funding for the security cameras project be funded three ways: City of Marshalltown, Marshall County and fundraising efforts by the Marshall County Crime Stoppers organization. He ended with, “The organization will be reaching out to community members and businesses in the near future regarding help with the fundraising efforts.”

The meeting concluded with the Optimist Creed. Guests are always welcomed. Lunch meetings take place every Thursday at noon at the Best Western Regency Inn. Thursday noon meeting on May 11 will take place at the Marshalltown Public Library. Visit the website www.noonoptimist.org.

Courtesy Marshalltown Times-Republican.


 
 
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CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS The Marshalltown Police Department has identified and arrested Henry Viceink on multiple charges of fraud, forgery, unauthorized use of a credit card and ongoing criminal conduct.
A man identified late last week from a surveillance video, accused of credit card fraud, is currently behind bars.

Mashalltown Police Department Capt. Brian Batterson told the Times-Republican that Henry Viceink allegedly cloned credit card numbers from three people — one each in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Emmetsburg.

Viceink, 66, allegedly used those numbers to make purchases or attempt to make purchases at different locations, including a convenience store and two auto parts retailers in Marshalltown.

“How he obtained those numbers is still part of the investigation,” Batterson said. “We got him just before he left town.”

Apparently, Viceink, who has been employed in Marshalltown for the past few months, was in the process of leaving town when authorities caught up with him.

Last week, video surveillance footage from the local convenience store was made public by the MPD and Marshall County Crimestoppers — the idea that hopefully someone would be able to identify the suspect.

“Information from Crimestoppers was instrumental in putting a name with a face,” said Batterson, noting that information gathered from a Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office investigation also aided in the case.

Viceink has been charged with four counts of forgery, four counts of unauthorized use of a credit card under $1,000; three counts of identity theft; and one count of ongoing criminal conduct.

He is currently being held in the Marshall County Jail on a $25,000 cash or surety bond.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican.


 
 
With a $20,000 pledge at Monday night’s council meeting, city councilor unanimously gave a huge boost to a Marshall County Crime Stoppers request to install security cameras at locations in town.

The pledge was in response to two recently CrimeStoppers presentations emphasizing the need of installing cameras to deter crime, and identify perpetrators.

MCCS director and Times-Republican Publisher/GM Mike Schlesinger said the cameras would be for security only — and not traffic enforcement.

He additionally promised only law enforcement would have access to data.

Schlesinger said the local plan is modeled after Dubuque’s successful initiative.

Dubuque started with a basic system, and due to its popularity, has expanded significantly.

Schlesinger proposed a local public-private partnership to pay for the local system. The city would pay one-third, Marshall County one-third, and CrimeStoppers one-third.

The cost is approximately $58,000.

The city council pledge is contingent upon CrimeStoppers receiving funding from the Marshall County Board of Supervisors and formally committing MCCS funds.

During its short tenure, MCCS has proved to be a powerful crime-fighter, with anonymous tips resulting in several arrests of high-profile crimes.

Courtesy Marshalltown Times-Republican
 
 
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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Police Chief Mike Tupper and Chairman of the Crime Stoppers Board Todd Steinkamp were welcomed to Kiwanis P.M. by President Kenny Lamb. Tupper updated the club on the great impact Crime Stoppers has made nationwide in bringing criminals to justice. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Police Chief Mike Tupper and Chairman of the Crime Stoppers Board Todd Steinkamp were welcomed to Kiwanis P.M. by President Kenny Lamb. Tupper updated the club on the great impact Crime Stoppers has made nationwide in bringing criminals to justice.
Kiwanis P.M. held its regular meeting at O’Hungry’s on March 22. President Kenny Lamb called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. He introduced guests Al Hoop, Chief Mike Tupper and Todd Steinkamp. We welcomed home our long absent member Denny Graubenbauer.

The Crime Stoppers program has been in the community for nearly two years. Chief Tupper has been amazed and gratified by the support that residents have shown. Crime Stoppers is a nationwide program started in 1975 in New Mexico where the media and citizens got behind the local police department to solve a homicide. There are currently 350 programs in the U.S. In the years since, Crime Stoppers, have made 600,000 arrests, recovered $4 billion in stolen property and drugs, and given $100 million in rewards nationwide.

Tupper and Steinkamp, chairman of the Crime Stoppers Board, made it clear that when a tip is given, because of the advanced software used, no name is connected with crime tips. Since September 2015 there have been 235 tips leading to several arrests. Rewards are made available anonymously with specific instructions to the tipper, who is identified by an ID number, as to where to pick up their reward.

Tupper and Steinkamp informed us of a second option to help with deterring crime that the Crime Stopper Board is readying for presentation to the community. This would be a camera system, not for catching speeders but to aid in solving crimes. These high definition cameras make reading license plates, vehicle make and model, and individuals more identifiable. Recently in Dubuque a homicide was solved with just such a system. The Police Department will only be as good as the citizens it serves, we are all the eyes and ears of a safe community.

The next meeting on March 29 at O’Hungry’s will feature Marshalltown Little League and the club will be presenting a check to help with ongoing expenses.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican.
 
 
On Monday, agents with the Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force served a narcotics search warrant at 104 N. 14th Ave., Marshalltown. A postal package destined for Marshalltown from California was intercepted by law enforcement. This package was found to contain approximately a half pound of ice methamphetamine with a street value of $27,000. As a result of this investigation, one suspect — Oscar Magana, 21 — was arrested and transported to the Marshall County Jail on various criminal drug charges:

• Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance w/intent (methamphetamine), B Felony.

• Possession of Schedule I Controlled Substance (Marijuana), Serious Misdemeanor

• Tax Stamp Violation, D Felony

• Interference with Official Acts, Simple Misdemeanor

Officers seized methamphetamine, marijuana, and U.S. Currency as a result of the search warrant.

Additional arrests are pending as the investigation continues. The Mid Iowa Drug Task Force was assisted with the execution of the search warrant by the Marshalltown Police Department, and the United States Postal Service. The Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force is funded by a grant, through the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican.


 
 
This past month the Marshalltown Police Department has responded to multiple reports of vandalism on Marshalltown’s southside. The reports are similar in nature with victims having their vehicle or residential windows shot out with a BB gun or similar device. The incidents are clustered between South 2nd Avenue and South 3rd Avenue and between Plaza Heights Road and Melody Lane. It is believed the same suspect(s) are involved in all.

MPD encourages anyone with information pertaining to this investigation to come forward. If anyone has been the victim of a similar crime we encourage one to report this to the MPD.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the MPD, 641-754-5725. Tips may also be submitted to Crimestoppers, 641-753-1234, via text by texting the word “marshall” followed by the tip to CRIMES (274637), or online at www.marshallcountycs.com. All tips are completely anonymous and could earn a reward of up to $1,000 if the tip results in an arrest.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican
 
 
LAUREL — Law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help in solving a spate of vandalism incidents that occurred in Laurel over the past weekend.

According to Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman, several vehicles were damaged when someone fired a BB gun at the cars, primarily on Saturday evening.

At the time, Hoffman said, some of the vehicles were occupied and being driven along Highway 14 near the Laurel City Hall — the drivers originally thinking rocks had hit their cars.

It wasn’t until the daylight hours the following day that the vehicle owners noticed the BB damage.

Additionally, a purse was stolen from a car in Laurel while the owner was attending church services on Sunday morning.

Hoffman said estimated damage to the vandalized vehicles range from $500 to $1,000 each.

The sheriff is asking members of the public who may have any information about the vandalism incidents to contact his office or submit tips via Marshall County Crime Stoppers by calling (641) 753-1234, via text by texting the word “marshall” followed by the tip to CRIMES (274637), or online at www.marshallcountycs.com. All tips are completely anonymous and could earn a reward of up to $1,000 if the tip results in an arrest.

Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican.