Worthington man charged with vehicle theft
WORTHINGTON -- Christopher Michael Bixby, 21, of Worthington, is charged with two felonies, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property. Bixby is also charged with three misdemeanors and one gross misdemeanor stemming from an incid...
WORTHINGTON - Christopher Michael Bixby, 21, of Worthington, is charged with two felonies, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property. Bixby is also charged with three misdemeanors and one gross misdemeanor stemming from an incident earlier this week.
According to court documents, a Nobles County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a pickup truck with major front-end damage during a routine patrol through Lake Bella Park. Based on the position of the tire tracks and skidmarks, the officer determined the vehicle had driven past a “no motorized vehicles allowed” zone.
Upon investigation of the tracks and marks, it was determined a second vehicle may have arrived and picked up the occupants of the truck. During the deputy’s investigation, a vehicle entered the park. One of the occupants identified himself as Bixby. He immediately stated he had nothing to do with the pickup before being asked.
Bixby added he had been drinking, which was a violation of his conditions of release for a prior offense in Cottonwood County. A preliminary breath test revealed an alcohol concentration of .09 percent. Bixby was subsequently arrested and transported to the Nobles County Jail.
The truck was registered to a man from Sioux City, Iowa, who had contacted Jackson County about the vehicle being stolen. The man stated Bixby had taken the truck without permission.
A passenger in the truck said Bixby drove past the DNR sign and through the trees. The witness also said Bixby had purchased beer and consumed four within an hour while at Lake Bella. Surveillance footage from Wal-Mart showed Bixby exiting the truck and entering the store. Items Bixby purchased matched a receipt discovered next to the truck at the scene.
Bixby’s driving record indicates his driver’s license status is revoked from an implied consent testing from May of last year and has not been reinstated.
Bixby appeared in court this week for a bail hearing. He is currently being held in the Nobles County Jail on a $5,000 bond with conditions and a $15,000 bond without conditions.
If convicted, both felony charges carry a maximum penalty of no more than five years in jail, a fine not to exceed $10,000 or both. The DWI charge carries a potential penalty of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both. The three misdemeanor charges - driving after revocation, willful disobedience to court mandate and failure to stop for collision - each carry a potential penalty of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
Bixby will make his initial appearance in the case later this month.