Second Person Convicted in Beatrice Gas Station Burglary

BEATRICE – A second defendant has been convicted in a burglary last January, of Nick’s Shell Convenience store in Beatrice.

20-year-old Austin Watts, of Pawnee City pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of attempted burglary, as part of a plea agreement.   Beatrice Police said Watts entered the business in the 900-block of Court Street.

Deputy Gage County Attorney Michael Wehling said police were called January 29th, at around 6 a.m., to a reported burglary of the store.  A lock on the front door had been broken, and someone had entered the store.  Wehling said store surveillance video helped identify the suspects.

:16                  “leaves the store”

A police resource officer also identified Watts in the video.  Police obtained a search warrant for an Ella Street residence where Watts and the other defendant lived.

:13                  “Shell station”

Authorities also recovered bags used to carry the stolen items and some ice cream that also was stolen.  Police later gained a confession from Watts.

Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for February 7th.   Both the state and defense are recommending a sentence of probation.  The conviction carries a possible prison term of up to three years, with 9 to 18 months post-release supervision.

Last June, Michael Grant was sentenced in Gage County District Court to a two-year term of probation for aiding and abetting a burglary.

Authorities say Grant served as the lookout during the crime.

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