Alleged laundry looter faces charges

Sweet has initial appearance in laundry machine theft case

Sandra Sweet

The woman accused of breaking into apartment buildings and stealing from coin machines has made her initial appearance in court.

Sandra Lee Sweet, 37, of Marshalltown, appeared before Magistrate Judge William Habhab Tuesday morning. She was ordered held on a total of $12,000 for two counts of burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.

Police allege Sweet and another woman broke into buildings at 805 Third Ave. S. and 301 S. Eighth Street, and stole several hundred dollars from a change machine.

Police saw security videos which show two women at one building and one woman at the other, entering the building and covering up security cameras, according to the criminal complaint. There was visible damage to the coin/change machine, the lock to the building and to a washing machine.

According to criminal complaints, Sweet tried to gain entry to the apartments at 106 N. 10th St. on the same night, and vandalized the card reader which opens the door. The card reader was destroyed and was valued at $500, police said.

Sweet was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief in this matter.

In addition to this and the two burglary charges, she’s charged with fourth-degree theft, fifth-degree theft and two counts of fifth-degree criminal mischief.

Sweet was arrested Oct. 3, and was previously charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police allege she was found with methamphetamine when she was arrested.

The arrest was made in reference to an ongoing burglary and stolen property case being investigated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Ellsworth, Jewell, Stanhope Police Department, according to the criminal complaint.

Fort Dodge police had also been investigating a series of break-ins of coin-operated machines in Fort Dodge, including laundry and change machines.

Fort Dodge Police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said Sweet is the second suspect arrested in connection with the case. Kayla Reynolds, 31, of Fort Dodge, was arrested on Sept. 27 on a third-degree burglary charge in connection with the case.