A Hastings man has been charged with stealing a car from a Rosemount auto dealer.
Kenneth Junior Pitchford Jr., 22, is charged with two felonies: receiving stolen property and car theft, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is also charged with driving with a revoked license, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, a 1997 Mercury Sable was reported stolen from South Metro Auto Brokers in Rosemount on Sept. 18.
On Sept. 22, Hastings police located the stolen vehicle, but lost sight of it. A Dakota County sheriff’s deputy in the area spotted the vehicle a short time later and stopped the driver, later identified as Pitchford.
Pitchford told officers that a friend named James had asked him to drive the car across Hastings for $300, according to the complaint, though he was unable to provide a phone number, address or last name for James.
Pitchford admitted that he figured the car was stolen, but said he needed money, so he agreed to drive the car for his friend, the complaint says.
Officers notified the owner of South Metro Auto Brokers that they had found the stolen car. He told deputies that he knew Pitchford because he lives in a house on the auto dealership’s property that is rented to Pitchford’s father.
As of Wednesday night, Pitchford remained in the Dakota County Jail on a $1,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Dec. 18 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.