WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. — A 20-year-old man is facing a felony charge after authorities say he sold his neighbor's vehicle to a salvage yard while the neighbor was gone.
Justin L. Braze made his initial appearance Monday on felony counterfeiting a certificate of title and misdemeanor charges of theft and obstructing an officer. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 7½ years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 8, a Wisconsin Rapids man reported he came home after being away since May 31 and found his 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had four flat tires, missing.
Officers spoke to Braze, who said he saw someone with a flatbed truck take the Jeep away, according to the complaint. Another neighbor reported seeing the word "Valley" on the side of the flatbed truck.
The officer was able to trace the truck to Fox Valley Auto Salvage. The officer spoke to the company's owner, who identified a picture of Braze. Braze had told the owner he wanted to sell his Jeep for scrap, according to the complaint.
Braze told the scrap business owner that he had lost the key and title to the Jeep, but Braze filled out a missing title form, according to the complaint. The business owner paid Braze $300 for his neighbor's Jeep, according to the complaint.