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December 17, 2017

12/5/2017 7:25:00 AM
Teens accused of stealing vehicles, personal belongings
By Kayla Breese
River News Feature Writer

Two young Lac du Flambeau residents have been charged in Oneida County with stealing vehicles and the personal belongings of others.

Clayton T. Philemon, 18, was charged Nov. 16 with two counts of operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, both misdemeanors; criminal damage to property, burglary of a building or dwelling, a Class F felony; two counts of theft, two counts of operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent (as party to the crime) and operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, a Class H felony.

The second individual, a 16-year-old male, was charged with operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, two counts of trespass to land, and one count of criminal damage to property (as party to a crime.) He was also cited for operating without a valid driver's license, speeding, inattentive driving, failure to maintain control of motor vehicle and failure to notify police of an accident.

According to the complaint, a vehicle was found on the U.S. Highway 8 bypass at approximately 5:21 a.m. Nov. 12 which appeared to be broken down. This vehicle was later confirmed stolen from Vilas County.

As officers were responding to this call they received another one at 5:59 a.m. about a rollover on County Hwy. G in Enterprise, however no one was around when they arrived, the complaint states.

The vehicle involved in the accident had been reported stolen from Ridge Street in the town of Pelican earlier that morning, the complaint states.

Officers noticed footprints in the snow leading from the accident scene to the roadway, but were unable to determine where they went from there. Later that morning, when there was adequate daylight, they returned to the scene in an attempt to follow the tracks.

According to the complaint, officers found a green beanie knit cap on the side of the road about a half-mile from the accident scene. "This appeared out of place, as it was fresh, not covered with snow, and had not been splashed with slush from the roadway," according to the officer's report.

They also found tracks in the slush and followed them, coming upon a beer can that appeared recent based on the unplowed shoulder, the complaint states.

The officers continued following the prints until they discovered a tent in a nylon case by the shoulder of the road just south of Zimmer Road. As the officers stopped to look at it, dispatch informed them that a passerby had called to say two males were attempting to hitch a ride in the officer's vicinity.

Shortly thereafter the two were located near a residence. Both males initially hesitated to comply with officers' commands but eventually exited the vehicle and were taken into custody.

Officers noticed the scent of intoxicants on them as well as burnt marijuana, according to the complaint, and a bag of marijuana was discovered on the passenger floorboard.

In a court appearance Friday afternoon, Philemon waived his right preliminary hearing and entered not guilty pleas. A pretrial conference in this case is set for Jan. 16.

Kayla Breese may be reached at kayla@rivernewsonline.com.

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