Public Safety

Coralville man accused of attempting to break into Old Capitol

IOWA CITY — Like something out of a low budget heist flick, a Coralville man is accused of attempting to break into the Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus.

UI police said they found Alexander M. Torres, 29, attempting to enter Old Capitol’s south entrance at 8:13 p.m. Tuesday after a burglary alarm sounded.

They found Torres had removed a door hinge and was in the process of attempting to remove two others, police said. He also had a small hammer.

Police said Torres admitted to trying to enter Old Capitol in order to “take control” of the building and steal documents inside.

He did not say what documents he hoped to find in the building, which houses the Old Capitol Museum.

Torres faces charges of third-degree attempted burglary and possession of burglar’s tools, both aggravated misdemeanors, and fifth-degree criminal mischief, a simple misdemeanor.

Torres also is accused of first-degree robbery, a Class B felony, after entering the BP gas station store at 1920 Lower Muscatine Rd. around 2 a.m. Sept. 16 and grabbing a number of items. When confronted by a clerk, he displayed a metal baton and later reached for a knife, police said.

The clerk told him to leave, but he later returned for his bike, police said. The clerk chased Torres away while calling police.

Officers found Torres hiding in a tree nearby.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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