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Cresco Man Facing Auto Theft, Child Endangerment Charges

A Cresco man has been arrested on multiple charges after stealing two vehicles, with his infant daughter in tow.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office says 34-year-old Steven Wildman is in custody following a series of incidents Tuesday night. Sheriff Tim Beckman says the pursuit of Wildman started just after 6:30 p.m. after receiving a  report of a Chevy Silverado and a trailer loaded with scrap metal being stolen from a residence on Robin Avenue, about halfway between Elma and Protovin. A deputy located the vehicle on Highway 9 and chased Wildman at speeds reaching up to 90 miles per hour.

During the pursuit, Wildman began to jerk the vehicle aggressively causing scrap to fall on the roadway and fly at the patrol car before ramming through a chain blocking access to the Turkey River Wildlife Area. After driving through a second chain, Wildman proceeded east off of the trail, and traversed a water way, while the deputy’s vehicle became stuck in the mud. The truck was located a short time later unoccupied after running out of fuel.  

Cresco Police then arrived on scene and located Wildman attempting to steal a GMC Acadia Denali that was for sale parked along Highway 9.  After Wildman was detained, it was discovered that his 15-month-old daughter was in a car seat placed in the GMC.  

Wildman was arrested and charged with first-degree theft, a Class C felony; eluding, a Class D felony; plus, third-degree burglary and child endangerment, both aggravated misdemeanors. Additional charges include spilling loads on a highway, speeding going 90 in a 55 mph zone, driving on the wrong side of a two-lane highway, unsafe passing, and reckless driving, all simple misdemeanors.  

Bail for Wildman was set at $15,000 cash or corporate surety bond. 

 

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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