Christopher James Prince, 20, made his initial appearance before Richland County District Court Monday, Sept. 16.
The Fergus Falls, Minnesota, man is charged with one count of theft of property (possession of stolen property), a class B felony.
Through an investigation conducted by the Wahpeton Police Department, Prince is accused of knowingly receiving, retaining or disposing of property of another, which had been stolen from another, with the intent to deprive the owner thereof.
On Friday, Sept. 13, at around 2:20 a.m., a sergeant with the Wahpeton Police Department observed a Ford F-150 pickup stopped in the middle of 11th Street and 14th Avenue North, Wahpeton.
“The sergeant heard screeching tires and observed the vehicle move forward as if the driver was attempting a burnout,” according to court documents.
The vehicle pulled over on 14th Avenue North and the sergeant made contact with the driver, later identified as Prince. Officers allegedly viewed a photo of the registered owner of the vehicle and observed that Prince did not appear to be the registered owner.
At approximately 5:50 a.m., a Wahpeton man called law enforcement to report that his Ford F-150 pickup was stolen from outside his residence.
The victim provided information about his vehicle and officers confirmed it was the one Prince was driving, documents continue.
The victim stated he did not give anyone permission to use his vehicle. There was allegedly new damage to the vehicle and the victim reported approximately $25 in cash was missing.
“The vehicle was valued at $25,000,” documents continue. “This offense is a class B felony because the value of the stole vehicle in the defendant’s possession exceeded $10,000 but was less than $50,000.”
Judge Bradley Cruff set Prince’s bond at $10,000 cash or surety. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and participate in the 24/7 program, which monitors sobriety.
Court records state Prince’s application for indigent defense was approved. He is represented by attorney Don Krassin. Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen is representing the state of North Dakota.
The maximum penalty for a class B felony is ten years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, or both.
A preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Prince is currently confined in the Richland County Jail.