Two area teenagers are accused of stealing a truck in Waupaca, stealing gas in New London, then taking a road trip that ended in Illinois when they were arrested for shoplifting.
Dominic M. Schuelke, 17, Ogdensburg, and Dustin K. Arndt, 18, Weyauwega, are charged with operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and theft as party to a crime.
At 1:18 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, Waupaca Police Officer Brent Krueger was dispatched to the 400 block of Wisconsin Street, where he met with a woman who reported a stolen pickup truck. She said the truck had last been seen traveling south on Scott Street.
The woman said she heard the truck drive away, and when she went to check on it, it was gone.
She described the truck as a 1990s maroon Chevrolet truck with wood box sides. It had been used by a construction company. She did not believe it was worth more than $500.
Krueger later located two child-sized bicycles at the intersection of Scott and Wisconsin streets. He surmised the bikes had been used by the suspects to ride to Wisconsin Street and steal the truck.
On Aug. 27, Waupaca Police Officer Paul Benzschawel spoke to Arndt’s foster sister, who said Arndt had been talking about stealing bikes and going to New London, She said Arndt and Schuelke also showed up at a friend’s house with a truck.
Benzschawel had received surveillance video from the New London police that showed a gas drive off involving the stolen truck. The sister identified the driver as Schuelke and the passenger as Arndt, the complaint says.
On Aug. 28, Benzschawel learned the stolen truck had been recovered in Chicago, where Arndt and Schuelke had been arrested for shoplifting.
Benzschawel subsequently interviewed Schuelke about the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Schuelke said Arndt had accidentally locked the keys in his sister’s car and the only way to get the spare set was to go to her place in Weyauwega.
Schuelke reportedly said he and Arndt decided to steal a car and drive to Weyauwega. They allegedly stole two bikes and rode around Waupaca until they found a vehicle with the keys in it. They abandoned the bikes and stole the truck, the complaint says.
The two then allegedly drove to New London, where they spent the night in the movie theater’s parking lot, then stole gas to drive first to Appleton, then Milwaukee, then to the Chicago area.
Judge Vicki Clussman set a $3,000 cash bond as a condition for Schuelke’s release.
Arndt was charged in Skokie, Illinois, for possession of a stolen vehicle.