By Jacob Mathias
A string of thefts from unlocked cars has led to a Stevens Point man facing multiple charges including one felony after allegedly stealing a handgun.
Chris Uebelher, 24, is charged with felonious theft which carries a maximum sentence of up to a $10,000 fine, six years imprisonment or both if convicted. He also faces three misdemeanor theft charges which each offer a sentence of up to a $10,000 fine, nine months imprisonment or both if convicted.
According to court documents, on September 6, 2015, Stevens Point police were dispatched to a home on Wisconsin Ave. to take a report of a firearm stolen from a vehicle. When the officer arrived, he met with the victim of the theft who said when he’d gone to his car that morning, he noticed an item on the floor of his car that should have been in the glove compartment.
When the car was searched further, it was discovered a handgun, a Glock .38, had been stolen from the car along with some ammunition. The man told police he’d seen his gun in the glove compartment the day before and had left the car unlocked overnight.
Later that same day the officer was dispatched another car theft, this time on Water Street.
The officer met with two women at the scene who both reported items stolen. One of the victims reported that a Magellan-brand GPS unit was stolen from her car, while the other said she was missing a backpack containing a Dell laptop.
Neither car was locked at the time of thefts.
About a week later, on September 12, a Stevens Point detective received information from the original responding officer that Uebelher had been identified as a suspect of the thefts. A warrant was then obtained for a search of Uebelher’s Water Street residence.
The stolen items were not recovered during the search, though the defendant did admit to taking them. He told the detective he no longer had the stolen handgun but did not divulge what happened to it. The missing laptop was reported to have been thrown in the river.
While searching the house, a prescription pill bottle was found containing the name of a woman who didn’t live in the home. When police contacted the woman, she said she had been victim of a theft sometime in August but didn’t report it. She said she’d also lost a laptop.
Uebelher told detective he’d sold the laptop to the Salvation Army, but police were able to retrieve the device. A witness at the Salvation Army also reported that the defendant attempted to sell him a 9mm pistol for $200 dollars, which Uebelher said was now buried somewhere several hours from Stevens Point.
Uebelher makes his initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court on June 20 at 1:30 PM.