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30 days in jail for man who stole Ritchie Valens heirlooms at Winter Dance Party

CLEAR LAKE — It’s a month of jail time for a north-central Iowa man who pleaded guilty to stealing heirlooms from the family of fallen rock star Ritchie Valens while they were attending the Winter Dance Party in Clear Lake earlier this year.

The Valens family had reported two framed family photos of Ritchie Valens and a framed movie poster were stolen from the Best Western Motor Lodge during a family luncheon on February 2nd. The items were recovered 12 days later in good condition.

59-year-old Mark Hobbs was later arrested and charged with second-degree theft and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony, with authorities saying that he had been seen on surveillance video taking the photos.

As part of a plea agreement, Hobbs pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree theft, with the conspiracy charge being dismissed. Judge Adam Sauer on Monday sentenced Hobbs to 30 days in jail and issued a $625 fine, which was suspended.

Hobbs late last month was also charged after authorities allegedly found more than a pound of methamphetamine in a Mason City storage unit. His arraignment hearing in that case is scheduled for this afternoon.



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