DA: Man steals, sells neighbor's Jeep for scrap - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DA: Man steals, sells neighbor's Jeep for scrap

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) – A 20-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man stole his neighbor's Jeep and sold it for scrap metal while the neighbor was away in order to buy food, according to a criminal complaint.

Justin Braze is charged with felony counterfeiting a vehicle title and two misdemeanors – theft of less than $2,500 and obstructing an officer. His preliminary hearing is July 10 in Wood County Circuit Court.

The complaint, filed last week, said the neighbor came home June 8 after being gone for several days and found his 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee missing.

Investigators traced the SUV to Fox Valley Auto Salvage in town and the owner identified Braze in a photo as the man who sold the Jeep for $300 on June 5, the complaint said.

The salvage yard owner said he drove a tow truck to the driveway where the Jeep was parked with flat tires. Braze told him that he did not have keys or title for the vehicle and Blaze signed a “missing title form” acknowledging ownership before the vehicle was hauled away, the complaint said.

Braze first told police he saw someone load the vehicle on a flatbed wrecker on June 3 but later acknowledged he signed the missing title form, the complaint said.

The defendant stated that he used the money from the fraudulent sale to buy food,” the complaint said.

Braze is free on a $1,000 signature bond, online court records say. The maximum punishment for the felony is six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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