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Des Moines Man Accused of Crashing Car, Trying to Steal Car in Oxford

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OXFORD, Iowa - A 50-year-old Des Moines man was arrested Monday morning after deputies said he crashed his car on a homeowner's property in Oxford and then tried to steal the resident's car.

William Lewis Courtney is accused of driving his vehicle onto the property at 1794 250th St. NW in Oxford at 6:57 a.m. Monday, according to a criminal complaint. He drove through two barbed wire fences and two gates, according to the report, causing about $1,100 in damage.

He went on to drive his vehicle through two more gates, which were containing cattle, and then crashed into a ravine, where his car caught fire and became completely engulfed, deputies reported.

In a separate complaint, Courtney is accused of entering the property owner's garage, presumably after crashing his car, and trying to enter the house through a door in the garage. The homeowner and a child were inside the house at the time, but Courtney couldn't get in because it was locked, according to the complaint.

Deputies reported that he yelled at the resident and child through the locked door and then got into an unlocked car parked out front of the house and began looking for the keys, according to a complaint. He threw items from the glove box onto the floor, and then found the keys and tried to start the vehicle, deputies reported.

Authorities arrived about that time and removed Courtney from the vehicle, according to a complaint.

He faces charges of attempted second-degree burglary, a felony, and third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree burglary, both aggravated misdemeanors.

Courtney is being held at the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $17,500 cash-only bond.

Courtney's criminal history includes three operating while intoxicated convictions and a conviction of driving while license is barred or revoked.

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