Local man gets 40 years for burglary charges

A Marshalltown man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for a string of burglaries after DNA evidence tied him to the scene of a crime.

John Sims Jr., 33, was found guilty of seven felony crimes including three counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree theft.

DNA evidence left behind at a crime scene linked Sims to a July 2011 burglary. A search warrant resulted in police finding stolen property which linked him to five more burglaries committed in August 2012.

After the Marshalltown Police Department brought Sims in for questioning in August 2012 in connection to the burglary, he fled the state. Police obtained a search warrant for his home and recovered items ranging from jewelry to small electronics, connecting him to five other burglaries.

Police in Duluth, Minn. arrested Sims Oct. 6. He was subsequently transported to Marshall County Jail.

Capt. Chris Jones of the MPD said the burglaries were to both homes and motor vehicles. Some of them took place while the residents were home. Several occurred on the south end of town.

Sims is ordered to pay more than $11,000 in victim restitution to four of the six burglary victims. Jones said the case is still open and more charges are still pending.

“Anytime we get DNA, especially on a burglary, we turn those over to the DCI,” Jones said. “Those case are more frequent than they used to be. Technology has changed and we’re seeing more matches more frequently.”