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Dubuque man sentenced for thefts, burglary in Lafayette Co.
Prison Bars

DARLINGTON — An Iowa man was sentenced to one year in prison and two years on extended supervision Oct. 8 for stealing from a Town of Benton farm and burglarizing a Darlington car wash.

Jay Joseph Mess, 28, Dubuque, pleaded no contest to the Class H felony charge of theft and Class F felony charge of burglary as a party to a crime. Three misdemeanor counts of theft were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

The convictions stem from separate crimes within the past two years, according to court documents.

On Dec. 6, 2016, Mess and an accomplice, Lee William Shaffer, 32, also of Dubuque, broke into the office of the Xtreme Clean car wash in Darlington and stole the security system. A bolt cutter was used to cut off the bolt to the cash hopper. 

On Feb. 9, 2017, Mess and Shaffer broke into vehicles at a farm on Wisconsin 11 in the Town of Benton, taking a .22 caliber rifle, Stihl leaf blower and a receiver hitch and ball mount. The total value of the items stolen was $480.76.

Security camera footage shows Mess and Shaffer smoking crystal meth before committing the crimes.

Mess must complete alcohol or other drug abuse treatment as a condition of his sentence, which is ordered to run concurrent to any sentence out of Iowa, according to court records.

Shaffer has his plea and sentencing hearing Dec. 4 on similar charges.