Matthew E. Wilber, 30, Shiocton, is charged in Waupaca County Circuit Court with burglary, theft and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
On the morning of Monday, Aug. 18, the owner of a used car dealership on U.S. Highway 45 in Bear Creek came to work and listened to a voice message that said he needed to turn off the lights on one of his vehicles.
When he went out to the car lot, the dealer found a white Saturn with the lights on and the keys in the ignition.
Since he had not left the car with its lights on, he went back to his office and found that several keys were missing from a lockbox, as well as three checks from a checkbook. Upon further inspection, he discovered a maroon 2001 Ford Taurus had been taken from the lot.
The dealer reported the stolen vehicle to Waupaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Cameron Durrant. He later told Durrant he spoke with someone who drove past his lot on the evening of Aug. 16 and saw a tall, thin, younger man by the Taurus with the hood up and battery cables.
On Aug. 20, the Everest Metro Police Department contacted the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office and told Deputy Josh Krueger that the missing Taurus had been found crashed in a ditch. When the officer did a records check of the abandoned vehicle, it came up stolen from Waupaca County. They also found Wilber’s Texas driver’s license in the car.
Officers later found Wilber at a nearby gas station. He told police a friend loaned him the vehicle so he could move.