Levi T. Hardnett, 46, Weyauwega, is charged with operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
On Friday, Jan. 9, Weyauwega Police Officer Katelyn Dexter resonded to a call from the 600 block of East Main Street. She spoke to a woman who said her 1988 Oldsmobile had been stolen.
The keys had been in the unlocked car at the time it was taken. The woman suspected her ex-boyfriend, Hardnett, of taking the car. She had not seen or talked with Hardnett for several days.
On Friday, Jan. 10, a Stevens Point police officer ran a records check of a vehicle parked at a Kwik Trip and found that it had been reported stolen in Waupaca County.
Stevens Point police then pulled the vehicle over and arrested the driver, identified as Hardnett.
Shortly before 2:30 p.m. that same day, Stevens Point police transported Hardnett to the Portage/Waupaca County line on U.S. Highway 10 and transferred him over to the custody of Officer Dexter.
According to the criminal complaint, Hardnett said he and the woman were still in a relationship, although it was “fading.”
Hardnett reportedly said the woman knew he had used the vehicle to go to his niece’s funeral in Milwaukee and that the car belonged to them jointly but was not registered in his name due to child support liens.
The woman later told police that she knew about the funeral but had not given Hardnett permission to borrow the car.