Transient who stole laundry cart found with drugs


An Iowa City transient who was arrested for stealing a laundry cart was discovered with drugs and drug paraphernalia.

According to police, 44-year old Irving Howard is seen on surveillance video leaving Varsity Cleaners on South Gilbert Street Saturday afternoon with a laundry cart belonging to the business, valued at $150.

The business noticed the cart was missing and identified Howard as the suspect after checking the video.

A warrant was issued for Howard’s arrest, and he was taken into custody Tuesday at approximately 12:45am in the 200 block of East Burlington Street. Prior to being transported to the Johnson County Jail, the arresting officer allowed Howard to get his wallet from his backpack. While rummaging for his wallet, the officer noticed a capped hypodermic syringe in the backpack. The ensuing search found two different containers containing meth, a third containing marijuana, and several glass pipes used to smoke meth.

Howard has prior convictions for both theft and drug possession.

He was charged with 3rd degree theft for the incident at the Cleaners, and 3rd or subsequent possession. If convicted on the new charges, he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.