Three Northwest Iowa Young People Charged In Sheldon Burglaries

O'Brien JailSheldon, Iowa — Two young people from Lyon County and one from Sioux County have been charged in connection with a string of incidents in January in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department advises that an investigation into numerous crimes that occurred in Sheldon during the evening of January 17 and the early morning hours of January 18, 2013, has resulted in the charges. Those charged are alleged to have stolen a mini-van from the 1100 block of 14th Street which they later destroyed when they attempted to use it to jump a rock pile. The men also allegedly entered garages which were located on South Ninth Avenue and the 1600 block of Oak Street. They are accused of stealing a number of items from these garages. Stolen were guns, a compound bow, wallets and handbags, credit cards and gift cards, a Garmin GPS unit, a radar detector, and numerous other miscellaneous items.

In connection with the incidents, 20-year-old Dakota Looks Twice Acevedo of Rock Rapids was arrested and charged with two counts of Burglary in the 2nd Degree and two counts of Theft in the 2nd Degree. Acevedo was transported from the Lyon County Jail to the O’Brien County Jail where he is being held on an arrest warrant.

Also charged was 19-year-old Frederick Jesus Hinojosa of George. He is charged with Operating a Vehicle Without Owners’ Consent, Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree, two counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, and two counts of Theft in the 2nd Degree. Hinojosa is presently in the Sarpy County Jail in Papillion, Nebraska on unrelated charges and will face extradition to Iowa when his Nebraska charges are taken care of.

The Sheldon Police report they also charged 18-year-old Trey Michael Sandbulte of Hull. He was charged with two counts of Burglary in the 2nd Degree and two counts of Theft in the 2nd Degree. Sandbulte was arrested by a Sioux County Deputy and was transported to the O’Brien County Jail where he is also being held on an arrest warrant.

An investigation into these incidents continues and additional arrests are likely, according to Sheldon Police.

Several area law enforcement agencies assisted the Sheldon Police Department, including the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Department, and the Orange City Police Department.

The Sheldon Police Department wants to remind the public that a criminal charge is merely an accusation and that all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Sheldon Police Cover One Incident, Make Seven Arrests, All In Separate Incidents

sheldon pd police car rearSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Police have been busy with one incident and seven arrests in the past few days.

The police report that they investigated an incident in which a Chevy on Fourth Street was keyed. A Sheldon man reported that his 2008 Chevy Impala was keyed while it was parked in the alley to the north of the 800 block of Fourth Street, late on Thursday, March 28 or early on Friday, March 29. No damage amount was listed on the report. The police are investigating.

The police report they arrested 22-year-old Jesse Roth of Sheldon on Tuesday, March 26th. He was charged with Driving While Revoked.

They arrested 34-year-old Rhonda Bute of Sheldon on Tuesday the 26th as well. She was charged with Driving Under Suspension.

On Friday (3/29), Sheldon officers arrested 21-year-old Sawyer Smith of Sheldon, charging him with Driving While Barred.

They also arrested 25-year-old Kendall Young of Sheldon on Friday on an O’Brien County Warrant for Contempt of Court, on an original charge of Domestic Abuse Assault.

Also on Friday, the Sheldon Police arrested 46-year-old Macheal Koenck of Sheldon on an O’Brien County Warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance.

On Saturday, Sheldon officers arrested 31-year-old Alisa Murillo of Sheldon on a Sioux County Warrant for Probation Revocation on an original charge of Third Degree Burglary.

And finally, on Sunday, they arrested 32-year-old Jacob Soliz at the Iowa Department of Corrections Residential Treatment Facility on Sheldon’s west side — on what’s called an RTF Hold Order. Chief Bolkema explains that’s normally when someone has violated the conditions of their stay at the RTF.

All seven of those arrested were taken into custody and transported to jail in Primghar.

“We Walk Tour” Coming To Dordt College – To Help Moms And Daughters Tackle Tween Issues

GEMS We WalkSioux Center, Iowa — There’s a special event coming up for girls and their mothers in Sioux Center. Organizers say the event is designed to be both fun and informative and will help moms and daughters tackle important “tween” issues.

The event is called the GEMS Girls’ Clubs “We Walk” Tour, and it’s this coming Saturday, April 6 at 10:00 AM in the B. J. Haan Auditorium, on the campus of Dordt College in Sioux Center. The featured speaker will be author Sara Lynne Hilton.

We had a chance to talk to Hilton about some of the things girls will learn. She says one of the topics is bullying and how what we say, matters.

While the girls are having their session, there’s also a moms-only session. Hilton tells us why they made the “We Walk” tour a moms and daughters event.

“We Walk” is for moms and for girls in the fourth through the eighth grades, and is aimed to equip both groups with the tools they need to make a strong mother-daughter relationship and to deal with the problems that we all encounter in life.

Doors will open at 9:15 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 at the door and include the full program, lunch, and all activities. Tickets are available online at or by calling 1-800-965-9324. For further information, call 712-472-3313 or email


Click here for a link to a video about the event.

Western Christian Takes Home First Place In Regional Envirothon In Cherokee

Western EnvirothonCherokee, Iowa — It’s another first place for Western Christian High School in Hull.

Three teams from Western Christian High School recently participated in the state of Iowa regional Envirothon contest in Cherokee. Last year there were about 70 teams around the state of Iowa that participated in various regional contests during the month of March. The team of Mason DeVries, Colton Van Otterloo, Jeffrey Granstra, Kim Kroeze, and Jordan Van Maanen finished in first place at the Cherokee regional and now wait to see if they are one of fifteen teams that will participate in the state Envirothon contest which will be held in late April in Guthrie Center.

Examples of questions that were asked include: What side of a home (north, south, east, or west) would a person want to plant a wind block in order to receive best heating cost efficiency? Identify pictures of various soil organisms (nematodes, arthropods, earthworms). Identify pictures of various tree leaves or bark. Which species of squirrel is currently endangered in Iowa? What chemicals do fish possess in their body in order not to freeze? There were also questions about the history of Iowa’s landscape.

The Western Christian Envirothon teams are sponsored by Alysia Haveman, Life Science Teacher at Western Christian. Evan Wielenga, a local agronomist and soils expert; Sunday Ford, a Sioux County naturalist and wildlife expert; and Aaron Ohn from the Iowa DNR who is an aquatics expert all helped prep the teams during the weeks preceding the competition. The local NRCS office in Orange City generously sponsors the entry fee each year.

Official Cause Of Wreck That Killed Four To Be Listed As Undetermined

SDHP patch South Dakota Highway PatrolSioux Falls, SD — We may never know what caused the accident that killed the family of a Northwestern College student.

The family of Northwestern College sophomore Brittany Vollmer died in a crash on Interstate 90 near Sioux Falls on February 23.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is reporting it has been unable to determine the cause of the crash that killed four members of the Sioux Falls family.

What is known is that 52-year-old James Arthur Vollmer of Sioux Falls was driving a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that drifted off the interstate into the median and crashed shortly after 5 PM that day. Killed with Vollmer were his 48-year-old wife Julie; 16-year-old daughter Allysa; and 13-year-old son Caleb.

The crash happened one mile west of Sioux Falls at mile marker 394. All four occupants were wearing seatbelts.

An autopsy found no evidence of a medical problem or condition that could have contributed to the crash, said Capt. Kevin Joffer of the Highway Patrol’s Sioux Falls district office. A mechanic who examined the vehicle found no evidence of a mechanical failure or problem, Joffer said.

Toxicology reports showed no evidence of drug or alcohol use, and the investigation found no evidence of any adverse weather or roadway conditions, any animals or any other vehicle involvement that could have caused or contributed to the crash, he said.

There was no evidence of texting or cell-phone use, and witness statements indicate the Vollmer vehicle was traveling at about the same speed as other vehicles on the interstate.

Joffer says that at this point, they are unable to say what caused the crash. He says, QUOTE, “We have conducted a thorough investigation. If additional leads are developed, we will investigate them just as thoroughly. We understand that family members, friends and others in the community have many questions that we have been unable to answer. We join with the rest of the community in expressing our sorrow at the loss of this family.”

A fund has been established to assist Brittany Vollmer, the Northwestern College sophomore who lost the four members of her family.

Checks can be made payable to the Brittany Vollmer Fund, c/o Northwestern College, 101 7th St. SW, Orange City, Iowa 51041 or c/o Sioux Falls Christian Schools, 6120 S. Charger Circle, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57108.

Spencer Man Avoids Life In Prison With Plea Bargain In Beating Death Case

gavel_sxcSpencer, Iowa — A Spencer man has avoided life in prison.

At a hearing Monday presided by Judge Carl Petersen, 21-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick agreed to a plea bargain. He admitted at his hearing on Monday that he severely beat 59-year-old Edward Kitto, then stole money from his wallet. Kitto received major injuries and was flown by helicopter to a Sioux Falls hospital. A few days later, he died from the injuries Fitzpatrick admits he inflicted.

However, Fitzpatrick says it wasn’t a case of killing for money. He says it started when Kitto called him some names and came at Fitzpatrick with his fists.

Fitzpatrick was originally charged with First Degree Murder and First Degree Robbery and faced life, plus 25 years in prison. The plea bargin changed the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter, added a charge of Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine, and brought the total to 45 years in prison. According to defense attorneys, Fitzpatrick will be eligible for parole after at least 17 and a half years. He also has to pay $150,000 in restitution to Kitto’s family.

The actual sentencing will take place on May 10th.