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Two suspects arrested after theft at Storm Lake Walmart

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Austin Johnson-Justin Hanson
Austin Johnson (left) and Justin Hanson (right) were both arrested Thursday after a theft at a Storm Lake Walmart

STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) -- Two men have been arrested for drug charges in Storm Lake, Iowa, after a theft at a local Walmart.

According to a press release, 23-year-old Austin Johnson of Cherokee, Iowa, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Also charged was 26-year-old Justin Hanson of Alta, Iowa, for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Storm Lake Police Department says on Thursday at about 9 p.m. police were dispatched to the Storm Lake Walmart for a report of a theft.

The SLPD says officers were told that Johnson had allegedly stolen about $300 in merchandise from the store. When confronted by store staff he allegedly fled on foot.

When officers arrived on the scene they began checking the area for the suspect. Police say Johnson was located along a fence line in a wooded area to the south of the store.

Once police found Johnson they were able to take him into custody without further incident.

Police say their investigation alleges when Johnson fled from the store he discarded the stolen items into a vehicle he was associated with and then fled into the wooded area.

After Johnson's arrest police located and recovered the stolen items. A K9 search around the vehicle suggested illegal drugs may be in the vehicle.

Police say they conducted a consent search of the vehicle and located marijuana and methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia.

The items were seized and the vehicle was impounded pending a more thorough search.

Storm Lake police's investigation further alleges Hanson, an associate of Johnson, may be connected to the seized illegal drugs and that Hanson was inside the Walmart store.

Police located Hanson and took him into custody. It's alleged that Hanson was in possession of additional methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Hanson was booked into the Buena Vista County Jail on a $3,300 bond while Johnson was booked with a $2,600 bond.

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Dean Welte

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