May 15, 2021

Newton man steals vehicle after burglarizing funeral home

Stolen items were found inside vehicle taken from a local business’ parking lot

Four days after several keys and fobs from Pence-Reese Funeral Home were reported stolen, the items were found in a vehicle that had also been allegedly stolen by a 24-year-old Newton man from the business’s parking lot, police records say.

Devin O’Brien Harsh, of Newton, who was the driver of the vehicle, was arrested April 8 and charged with first-degree theft and second-degree burglary — both Class C felonies.

Newton Police Department said in a press release the Newton-based funeral home reported a burglary April 4. At 5:51 p.m. April 8, Pence-Reese told police a vehicle had been stolen from their lot.

About one hour later, the vehicle was located at the McDonald’s in Colfax. The key fob for the stolen vehicle, as well as other items stolen from the burglary, were located. Harsh was transported to Jasper County Jail.

If convicted, Harsh could face up to 10 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.