Theft charges mount for suspect already convicted of 10 burglaries

Photo: Jesse Pickel

An Ozark County man, who has already had multiple run-ins with law enforcement, is back behind bars facing charges in two counties.

Online court documents indicate 25-year-old Jesse Pickel of Theodosia is being held without bond until further notice of the court.

Pickel’s latest charges are in connection with a mid-August break-in of a Gainesville storage unit and the theft of more than $10,000 worth of possessions, according to a report in the Ozark County Times.

He is charged with second-degree burglary and stealing in the case. If convicted, Pickel could spend up to four years in prison for each of the two Class D felonies.

Pickel was in the Douglas County jail on an unrelated case, involving possession of a controlled substance, when his warrant was served in connection with the Ozark County incident.

The Times report notes “in the eight years since he became an adult, Pickel has pleaded guilty to 10 burglaries, six thefts and possession of a controlled substance within the 44th Judicial Circuit, which comprises Ozark, Douglas and Wright Counties.”

According to the probable cause statement in his most recent case in Ozark County, the burglary was reported at the Landers Storage Units at Missouri Highway 5 north and County Road 109.

The victim told law enforcement she had been to the storage unit three days before the break-in was discovered, and everything was secure. However, when she returned, the lock was missing and several items had been removed.

The list of stolen items included an estimated $10,000 worth of coins; gold jewelry; a rifle, multiple magazines and ammunition; a fly fishing rod, reels and tackle; a large toolbox filled with various tools; a chainsaw, air compressor, several various saws; construction supplies; a cooler; gas cans; a computer; pots and pans and other kitchen supplies and several more items.

Two days later, Ozark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 690 County Road 643B in Gainesville, after the owner of the home reportedly found Pickel had been living in the residence without permission.

The owner allowed the deputies to enter the home to investigate and reportedly told the officers she had found several items in the home’s garage that did not belong to her.

The victims in the storage unit theft identified several items as theirs.

The homeowner called the sheriff’s department nine days after she filed the trespassing report and told a dispatcher Pickel had returned to the residence.

Ozark County sheriff’s deputy Cpl. Curtis Dobbs responded and found Pickel in the front yard. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant in an unrelated case and was transported to the sherff’s office for processing.

Dobbs interviewed Pickel two days later, and the defendant reportedly admitted to unlawfully removing the lock from the storage unit, entering and removing contents. He also reportedly told Dobbs he had burglarized another storage unit in Mansfield, where he had worked with another person to remove a washer and dryer. The appliances were found at the home on County Road 643B. He told the officer he had had a key to the home on 643B and believed he had permission to be there.

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