NORTHWOOD — A Waterloo man pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple felony charges alleging he broke in to a Fertile jewelry business while the couple who own it were sleeping in their attached home.
Jonathan Henry Martin, 36, already in prison for crimes in multiple counties, is scheduled to be tried Oct. 30 on one count of first-degree burglary; two counts of first-degree theft; one count of second-degree theft; and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the Fertile break-in.
He also will be tried on a misdemeanor count of third-degree criminal mischief.
Martin allegedly used a pry bar to break the glass doors of the business Nov. 23, according to a Worth County Sheriff’s Office criminal complaint.
The owners told law enforcement they were sleeping and awoke to someone breaking into the business side of the building. The owner said he could hear someone on the other side of the door leading into the office where their safe was located.
When he pushed the door open, he possibly hit the burglar, who fled, the complaint states. The owner ran outside and saw a vehicle leaving the area.
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Officers found a .22-caliber pistol on the floor that had been removed from the safe. More than $57,500 worth of property was missing, according to the complaint.
On Dec. 2 Worth County officers learned Martin had been detained in connection with a burglary at the Ventura Mart in Cerro Gordo County. Martin’s cell phone contained Google searches for the Fertile diamond business, authorities say.
Martin allegedly confessed to the burglary and told officers he didn’t know anyone was inside the building until they startled him, according to the complaint.
Martin is currently serving up to 15 years in prison at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility for third-degree burglary and lottery fraud, both as an habitual felony offender, in connection with the Ventura Mart break-in.
That prison term is being served concurrently with sentences for felony convictions in Floyd, Franklin, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan and Delaware counties.