Man gets 36 months for stealing vehicle in East Bethel

A 41-year-old man was sentenced in Anoka County District Court May 1 to 36 months in prison on a felony motor vehicle theft charge.

Jeffrey Lee Sample pleaded guilty April 10 to this charge. He will be given credit for 238 days served in jail.

Sample was a passenger in a vehicle stolen from an East Bethel person the morning of July 10, 2011, according to the criminal complaint. Russell William Johnson, 34, of Spring Lake Park was the driver. Johnson was sentenced to six months in the Anoka County Jail starting in November 2011.

An East Bethel homeowner on the 20900 block of Ghia Street N.E. in East Bethel called 911 around 6:40 a.m. July 10, 2011 to report that she saw two white males stealing her white Pontiac Grand Prix.

Officers spotted the vehicle traveling east near the 4600 block of Viking Boulevard. Johnson did not immediately stop the vehicle after the squad car’s emergency lights were activated. It turned south on Theilen Boulevard before coming to a quick stop, according to the complaint.

Both men jumped out of the vehicle. Johnson was quickly apprehended, but Sample escaped.

Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputies eventually found Sample inside a wall in the basement of an East Bethel home.

At the plea hearing April 10 when Sample entered a guilty plea to the motor vehicle theft chage, he also pleaded guilty to am unrelated felony charge of financial transaction card fraud, according to court records.

Both sentences will be concurrent and not consecutive. This means he will serve the longer of the two sentences, which is 36 months for the vehicle theft.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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