Man arrested for drugs and theft after car dealership joyride
IDAHO FALLS — Police arrested a Shelley man after learning he allegedly stole a BMW from an Idaho Falls car dealership.
The Idaho Falls Police Department received a call Monday afternoon after Broadway Ford discovered someone stole a 2015 BMW 435xi from their lot. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Cody Abe Winterbottom, 32, admitted to taking the car while high on drugs.
Surveillance video at the dealership showed Winterbottom on a motorcycle pull into the parking lot on Sunday around 8:30 p.m. According to a police report, Winterbottom then checked handles on vehicles throughout the lot when a $20,000 BMW opened up. The car had recently been traded to the dealership and the keys were still in the vehicle.
Hours later, around 2 a.m., Winterbottom allegedly drove the car off the lot and eventually parked in it on Saturn Avenue.
The next day, the dealership noticed the car missing and contacted the police. The previous owner of the vehicle had tracked where the vehicle was parked through an app. Officers arrived at the address and found Winterbottom and another man and woman with the car. Winterbottom initially said his name was Chase, but his driver’s license proved otherwise.
Police questioned the woman who was sitting in the BMW’s driver seat. She said Winterbottom came to her apartment and let her drive the car, but she did not know it was stolen. The other man said Winterbottom met up with him at a local gas station with the car and told the man he was “test-driving and thinking about buying,” according to court documents.
As police spoke with Winterbottom he told officers he had outstanding arrest warrants, which dispatch confirmed. As they searched Winterbottom they found heroin and a green-colored pipe. Inside his backpack, police said they found a license plate stolen from a dealership employee and a key to a motorcycle found parked at Winterbottom’s house.
Winterbottom is charged with felony grand theft and felony possession of a controlled substance. He also received misdemeanor charges of petty theft and possession of drug paraphilia. He was booked into the Bonneville County Jail, where he remains held as of Wednesday.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 30.
Although Winterbottom is charged with crimes it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Felony grand theft holds up to 14 years in prison if convicted while the felony drug charge holds up to seven years.
At the time of his arrest on Monday, Winterbottom had been released on his own recognizance after allegedly breaking into the Chubbuck CAL Ranch store.