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Austin Watts

A Beatrice man will be sentenced in February for breaking into a fuel station earlier this year.

Austin D. Watts, 20, appeared in Gage County District Court Wednesday where he entered a no contest plea to a charge of attempted burglary. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 7.

Watts and Michael Grant were arrested after being identified from surveillance video footage of a Jan. 29 burglary at Nick’s Shell gas station at 900 Court St. in Beatrice.

At around 2:30 a.m., the front lock was forced open by Watts and around $100 worth of cigarettes, food and beverages were taken from the store while Grant acted as a lookout.

Police said Watts was identified by two different people, one within the police department and another who called in a tip.

During a search of Watts’ residence, police found a carton of cigarettes with eight packages remaining. The bag used to carry the items and ice cream taken from the store were also recovered.

Watts was charged with burglary following his January arrest, though the charge was reduced to attempted burglary as part of a plea agreement. The new charge is a class 3A felony.

Grant was sentenced in June to serve 24 months on probation for a charge of attempted aiding and abetting. A motion to revoke his probation due to a violation has been filed and he’s scheduled for a hearing on Jan. 2.

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