Men charged with burglary after theft of houseboat

December 2010 News
Two men, who face theft charges of stealing a houseboat and traveling the Mississippi for two weeks, were found driving the boat on Oct. 27 near Sabula.

Thomas Reed, 55, of Maquoketa, and Adam Hancock, 24, of Backer City, Oregon, will face two counts of second-degree theft, class D felonies, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, one count of second-degree criminal mischief and one count of fourth-degree theft in Jackson county.

According to the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press, the two men, with a third passenger Kristieanne Bridgeforth, said they were traveling downriver heading for the South, stating that they were "essentially homeless."

When the boat was searched, deputies found a loaded shotgun and numerous tools. The serial numbers on those items had been altered.

The house boat that was stolen was owned by Tim O'Neill, of Savanna, who purchased the boat in May.

According to the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press, "the identification numbers on the houseboat had been scraped off and the three had attempted to trade the 1986 Yamaha 90-horsepower outboard engine that powered the houseboat for a different engine."

The two men appeared in court on Oct. 28 and were set a cash-only bond of $10,000 each.
The class D felony for theft could sentence the two men up to five years in prison due to the property value of the houseboat. According to the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press, Sheriff Russ Kettmann said no charges are expected to be filed against Bridgeforth.

Reed has pleaded not guilty, and has a set trial date for Jan. 10 in Jackson county. Hancock pleaded not guilty as well.

During their time of travel, the two men were suspected of committing burglaries along the way, according to Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Russ Long.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Jo Daviess Circuit Court, on Oct. 27, Reed and Hancock entered cabins located at the Mississippi River Pool 12, with the intent to commit theft.
Reed and Hancock are being charged with two counts of burglary, class 2 felonies in Illinois. If found guilty of the class 2 felony, the two men could be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced three to seven years in prison.

A warrant is out for the arrest of Reed and Hancock.

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