A 38-year-old Iowa man is in custody and a 47-year-old Iowa woman was released on her own recognizance after police allege they found meth in a car after a shoplifting incident at Home Depot in Bettendorf.
Chad Julson, of Holy Cross, faces a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance – third or subsequent offense; and aggravated misdemeanor charges of driving while barred, third-degree theft, and possession of a theft-detection removal device, court records show.
Nicole Hefel, of Dubuque, faces a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance – third or subsequent offense, and an aggravated misdemeanor charge of third-degree theft, court records show.
The Home Depot incident
At 6:15 p.m. Monday, Bettendorf Police responded to Home Depot, 920 Middle Road, for a report of a theft in progress. When officers arrived, the loss-prevention officer had stopped Hefel and accused her of stealing, and saw Julson was associated with her, arrest affidavits show.
The loss-prevention officer said he saw Hefel and Julson walking around the store together, and then they split up. The loss-prevention officer saw Julson conceal a Fire Stick TV remote that was never recovered, court records say.
Julson tried to remove a security device that was attached to a vacuum but stopped when he saw the loss-prevention employee. Julson then walked out of the store and got into a blue Chevy Equinox, police allege in affidavits.
According to court records, police found Julson sitting in the driver’s seat of the Equinox just around the corner from Home Depot. At first, police say, Julson gave a false name to officers.
He was detained in handcuffs for the investigation because the name he provided had warrants, police allege in affidavits. According to court records, Julson then admitted that he provided a false middle name and date of birth because he had multiple warrants out for his arrest.
Police found an identification card with Julson’s actual name on it, along with a small pair of metal snips with multiple magnets attached to them.
“The loss-prevention employee said that tool is commonly used to cut security wires and the magnets release security locks that are placed on locked merchandise,” according to affidavits.
A K-9 dog indicated the presence of a controlled substance inside the Equinox, where officers conducted a probable-cause search and found a glass pipe in the center console along with a plastic bag with methamphetamine. Julson “admitted he had smoked meth inside the vehicle with (Hefel) just before they went inside Home Depot,” affidavits show.
The Fire Stick that Julson stole that was never found was valued at $24.99, court records say.
Loss-prevention officers allege they saw Hefel trying to conceal items in a car seat and her purse. After she was read her Miranda Rights, she said she was in town to drop a friend off at rehab when she met up with Julson. She told officers they went to a restaurant down the road and smoked meth inside a blue Chevy Equinox.
Julson then drove the vehicle to Home Depot so they could steal to pay for gas money, she told police. Julson was scared off by the loss-prevention employee and went back outside to the car. She said the pipe was hers “but denied the methamphetamine,” police allege in affidavits.
Both Julson and Hefel have multiple prior convictions, police say in affidavits.
Julson, who is being held on a total cash-only bond of $20,000 in Scott County Jail, is set for a preliminary hearing Nov. 21 in Scott County Court.
Hefel, who was released on her own recognizance, is set for a preliminary hearing Nov. 29 in Scott County Court.