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COLUMBUS — A 29-year-old Humphrey man is accused of stealing a semitrailer in Cornlea just before 7 a.m. Monday and driving to Scribner before being arrested by sheriff’s deputies about 90 minutes later during a traffic stop along Highway 91.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa set bond for Mark Ramaekers at $50,000, 10 percent allowed for release, during a bond review hearing Tuesday morning. The judge scheduled the defendant for an Oct. 25 felony first appearance hearing.

Ramaekers, who has not been formally charged by the county attorney’s office, was arrested for theft by unlawful taking-more than $5,000 and an interlock permit violation.

The theft offense is a Class 2A felony, punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. The interlock violation is a Class IV felony, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison, 12 months of post-release supervision and a $10,000 fine.

The sheriff’s office investigation began Monday morning with a report of a white 2003 Peterbilt semi with a white 2017 Wilson trailer attached stolen from a location in Cornlea.

Ramaekers was identified as the owner of a pickup parked next to where the semitrailer had been, according to Deputy Justin Grant’s probable cause arrest statement.

A relative contacted Ramaekers by phone and was told the Humphrey man was hauling grain to Scribner and returning west along Highway 91. Deputies stopped the semi on the highway near the intersection with 250th Avenue and Ramaekers was arrested.

On the way to the sheriff’s office, Grant reported the defendant said he “saw the parked semi and thought his pickup was worth $37,500, so he would just trade and settle up the difference later.”

On March 31, Ramaekers was issued an ignition interlock permit effective until June 11, 2018. The semi the Humphrey man was driving did not have an ignition interlock installed.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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