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Renter accused of burglarizing landlord

A Mitchell man is accused of dismantling heat pumps belonging to his landlord and selling the copper and other metal for scrap.

Kelly Watts, 25, allegedly entered a detached garage on the property he rents from Reimnitz Properties. Landlord Boyd Reimnitz reported six or seven heat pumps destroyed for the copper and metal. Reimnitz also said other items had been stolen from the garage, according to court documents.

Mitchell Police Officer Peter Arnold found the dismantled heat pumps outside Watts’ residence and asked Watts about the pumps. Watts admitted to dismantling and destroying the pumps and selling the metal at a scrap yard for between $50 and $100, court documents say.

Reimnitz told officers the pumps cost between $2,000 and $7,000 each.

Watts is charged with intentional property damage, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

He is also charged with third-degree burglary, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.