Man sent on rider for stealing car from Idaho Falls dealership
IDAHO FALLS — A local man will be placed in a rider program after stealing a car from a dealership for a joyride.
Cody Abe Winterbottom, 32, received his sentence Monday after pleading guilty to a felony grand theft charge. The charge stemmed from a March incident when Lithia Ford in Idaho Falls on Broadway discovered someone stole a 2015 BMW 435xi from their lot.
As part of a plea agreement made with Bonneville County prosecutors, a felony charge of possession of heroin and misdemeanor charges of petty theft and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed. Winterbottom also agreed to admit to having violated probation in numerous cases. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence no worse than a rider, according to court documents reviewed by EastIdahoNews.com.
When placing Winterbottom on the rider program, District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. gave an underlying three to 11-year prison sentence. A rider program is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison to complete the sentence or release them on probation.
Surveillance video at the dealership showed Winterbottom on a motorcycle pull into the parking lot late one evening. According to a police report, Winterbottom then checked handles on vehicles throughout the lot and found the $20,000 BMW was unlocked. 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 tracked where the BMW was parked through an app. Police found Winterbottom inside the car.
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.
In addition to the term in the rider program, court records show Winterbottom was ordered to pay $1,245.50 in fees and fines.
Winterbottom’s legal troubles do not stop in Idaho Falls. He faces a felony burglary charge with a persistent violator enhancement in Bannock County for allegedly breaking into the Chubbuck CAL Ranch store in December. He pleaded not guilty to that charge and is scheduled for a jury trial in August.