JUNEAU – A 48-year-old Beaver Dam made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday for allegedly taking a Beaver Dam Police Officer’s personal vehicle while it was parked in the employee parking lot at the police station Saturday.
Derek Norton is charged with a felony count of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and misdemeanor count of bail jumping. He could face up to six in prison on the felony count.
Norton appeared before Dodge County Circuit Court Commissioner Steven Seim Tuesday. Seim set a $500 cash bond.
According to the criminal complaint, the 2018 GMC Canyon was reported stolen Saturday after it was parked in the back parking lot at the Beaver Dam Police Station, 123 Park Ave. The vehicle was left in the parking lot at 5:30 a.m. and was unlocked. When the officer checked on it at 10:30 a.m., it was gone. There was no video footage of the vehicle being taken, and police were unable to find the vehicle in the city. However officers were able to determine that it was taken between 8:30 and 9:40 a.m.
The vehicle was not immediately found, but a detective working for Beaver Dam Police saw Norton in the same area of the Beaver Dam Police Department parking lot on Monday morning pulling on door handles. The detective attempted to speak to Norton who continued to attempt to enter the vehicles in the lot. Norton was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and trespassing. Two sets of GMC car keys were found in his pocket. One set matched the truck that was stolen on Saturday. The truck itself was found in the BMO Harris parking lot, which is across the street from the police station. Norton’s license was located in the truck.
Norton has an open case for criminal damage to property which has a condition that he may not commit any new crimes. He spoke to police but denied taking the truck but eventually admitted to taking it and driving it an hour or two.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Nov. 5.
Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.