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Guilty plea filed by man accused of stealing Ritchie Valens heirlooms from Winter Dance Party

CLEAR LAKE — A north-central Iowa man accused of stealing heirlooms from the family of fallen rock star Ritchie Valens while they were at the Winter Dance Party in Clear Lake earlier this year has pleaded guilty.

The Valens family had reported two framed family photos of Ritchie Valens and a framed movie poster were stolen from the Best Western Motor Lodge during a family luncheon on February 2nd. The items were recovered 12 days later in good condition.

59-year-old Mark Hobbs was later arrested and charged with second-degree theft and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony, with authorities saying that he had been seen on surveillance video taking the photos.

Hobbs trial was scheduled for October 8th, but online court records indicate that he filed a written plea of guilty on Tuesday in Cerro Gordo County District Court to the second-degree theft charge. A sentencing date has not been set.

Hobbs late last month was also charged after authorities allegedly found more than a pound of methamphetamine in a Mason City storage unit. His arraignment hearing in that case is scheduled for next Tuesday.



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