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Juneau man charged for never-ending test drive from car dealership

Juneau man charged for never-ending test drive from car dealership

JUNEAU – A 48-year-old Juneau man made his initial appearance in court on Friday after being charged with taking a SUV that he had out for a test drive on June 20 and not returning it to Lidtke Motors.

Gregg Mitchell is charged with felony counts of theft and bail jumping. He could face up to 16 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.

Mitchell appeared before Dodge County Court Commissioner Steven Seim. He as placed on a $2,500 cash bond. He may not go on the premises of Lidtke Motor, 701 Park Ave.

According to the criminal complaint, the owner of Lidtke Motors reported on June 20 at 5:50 p.m. that Mitchell had looked at a gold, 2017 Lincoln MKC SUV on June 17 and signed a purchase contract for the SUV but never made a down payment for it and the title and registration wasn’t transferred over. Mitchell instead asked the dealership to hold the vehicle while he sought out financing and asked to keep the vehicle overnight in order to show it to his wife. Mitchell was a previous customer so he was allowed to keep the vehicle overnight.

Mitchell did not return the vehicle the next day. According to the criminal complaint, the dealership learned that the address given was fake and Mitchell did not answer a call made to him. Mitchell did text back and say that he was on a job assignment and would come into the dealership on June 22.

Mitchell did not call back when asked to and the SUV valued at $26,000 was reported stolen. According to the criminal complaint, Mitchell was on probation for felony theft and burglary at that time. He also allegedly had been questioned in a different stolen vehicle case in July.

The vehicle was located on Thursday night in Juneau in the 300 block of Oak Point Drive. Mitchell was at the scene and taken into custody and the SUV was shown to have about 3,000 more miles on it than when it left the dealership.

A preliminary hearing will occur on July 30.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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