Audubon teens arrested on arson & theft charges


October 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Audubon County say two local teenagers have been arrested following an investigation into the theft of a pickup which was burned in the 2900 block of Falcon Avenue, and an ATV that was stolen and burned in the 1500 block of 260th Street, during the evening hours on August 5th and early morning hours on August 6th.


Officials say 16-year old Dustin Joseph Hunter, of Audubon, was taken into custody at around 4-p.m. Monday. He was charged with Arson in the second-degree (aiding and abetting), Theft in the second-degree (aiding and abetting), and burglary.

17-year old James Rathmann, of Audubon, was also arrested in connection with the same incidents. Rathman faces charges which include Burglary in the third-degree, Theft in the second-degree, Arson in the second-degree (Accessory After the Fact), and Theft in the second-degree (Aiding and Abetting). Hunter was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Council Bluffs. Rathman was released to the custody of his parents and his case referred to Juvenile Court Services.

Last month, 20-year old Mackenzie Jacob Belnap, of Ottumwa, was also charged in connection with the crimes. He faces 1st- and 2nd-degree Arson charges, along with two counts of burglary in the 3rd degree and two-counts of theft in the 2nd degree. He’s entered a written plea of not guilty to the charges. A jury trial in his case will take place November 29th. Belnap remains in the Audubon County Jail on $25,000 bond.