By Jacob Mathias
A bench warrant is out for a Rapids man charged with felony theft after stealing multiple firearms from a family member and pawning them for cash he reportedly used to purchase heroin.
Justin Savage, 41, is charged with four counts of felonious theft, each carrying a maximum sentence of up to six years imprisonment, or a $10,000 fine or both if convicted. After failing to show for his initial appearance in Wood County Circuit Court on November 23, Judge Gregory Potter issued a bench warrant for Savage’s appearance.
According to court documents, on September 22 a Wisconsin Rapids Police officer spoke with Savage’s father who said he suspected Savage had taken a tablet computer from his wife and pawned it without their permission. Upon investigating the suspected pawn shop, the officer learned that Savage had pawned multiple firearms over the past few months.
Savage’s father checked his gun cases and discovered about 16 firearms were missing and suspected they’d been stolen between mid-July and September 22. He’d kicked Savage out of the home on September 19.
Seven of the firearms were found to be pawned at E-Way Pawn.
When police spoke with Savage, he admitted to taking and pawning the guns and said he used the money he received to purchase heroin.
The bench warrant for Savage is active as of November 23.
This case has not been concluded. Unless a judgment of conviction is entered, the defendant is presumed innocent of all charges.