A 25-year-old rural Ralston man faces felony burglary and theft charges for going into a camper in Scranton and a vacant Churdan house and stealing nine birds and a large amount of Muppet memorabilia that he attempted to sell online, according to court records.
Kole Alexander Higgins could be punished by more than 15 years in prison if he is convicted of the crimes. He currently is on probation for felony drug convictions last year in which he received a suspended prison sentence.
Higgins is accused of stealing a cockatiel and eight lovebirds from a camper trailer that was parked near a house in the 900 block of Cedar Street in Scranton. A man who lives there told investigators he was birdsitting for a Storm Lake woman and discovered the birds were missing Sept. 19.
About a week later, a man reported that someone had stolen a substantial amount of collectible items related to The Muppets — a cast of puppets that appeared in movies and on television beginning in the 1950s — that had been stored in the attic of a vacant house in the 400 block of Perkins Street in Churdan.
The man had discovered the theft after someone saw Higgins post the items for sale on Facebook, court records show.
“This collection needs a new home as I don’t have room for display at my new home,” Higgins wrote in his online description of the items. “There is lots of full sets and some pretty rare things.”
He estimated the value of the collection at more than $3,500. The items were recovered by investigators in a search of Higgins’ house Sept. 29 southwest of Ralston.
Court records show that the bird cages and birds were found in Higgins’ basement during a search of the house.
It’s unclear how the new felony charges will affect Higgins’ probation. He was arrested last week after a deputy sheriff went to his house, a woman there said he wasn’t home, and he was stopped by another deputy when he attempted to drive away.