Cedar Rapids man faces charges after being caught with stolen items

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man faces multiple charges after he was caught with items taken from vehicles.

Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said officers were called to the area of Oakland Road and Center Street NE around 8:20 a.m. Thursday for a report of a man prowling around vehicles. Police found a suspect — identified as 33-year-old Benjamin L. Morris — matching the description provided by witnesses.

Buelow said Morris was carrying a backpack that was bulging full of items and his pockets were full, as well. Police also noted Morris was carrying a knife. He was taken into custody while officers investigated, Buelow said.

Police spoke with witnesses, one of which who reported several items had been taken from their vehicle. Buelow said Morris was in possession of several items — including a cellphone and a notebook — that matched what was missing.

Buelow said Morris became agitated with officers during their questioning and began to fight. An officer suffered abrasions during the scuffle, police said.

A search of Morris’ backpack turned up a drill and screwdriver, as well as jewelry and cash believed to have been stolen from a vehicle on Oct. 11. Morris was also carrying other items that belonged to people in the area, including mail with their names on it. Buelow said police also found 11 grams of meth on Morris.

Morris was arrested and faces charges of third-degree burglary — motor vehicle, possession of burglar’s tools, possession of a controlled substance — methamphetamine, interference with official acts causing bodily injury and providing false identification. Morris also had warrants for forgery, second-degree burglary and trafficking stolen weapons, Buelow said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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