MUSCATINE, Iowa — Two Muscatine residents have been arrested and charged with theft and ongoing criminal conduct and are held in the Muscatine County Jail each on a $25,000 cash-only bond. 

According to court documents, Jason Schmelzer, 40, whose address was last reported as 131 Patton Drive, and Karen Flores, 43, whose address was last reported as 707 1/2 E. Sixth St., were caught on video stealing merchandise from the store, then later returning the items for a refund. Thefts have been documented since December totaling more than $1,000. 

The two have been charged with ongoing criminal conduct, a class B felony, and second-degree theft, a class D felony. Flores was additionally charged with third-degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor. 

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19. 

— Sarah Tisinger of the Muscatine Journal

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