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Cops: Man took woman’s car, answered her phone

January 25, 2018 GMT

Prosecutors say a Lyndon Station man stole a woman’s car, and then answered her cell phone when she called it with an officer listening in.

The woman who reported the incident told an officer she arrived at a Reedsburg man’s home Sunday evening to drop off his children, and left her car running while she went inside.

In the kitchen, the woman reported seeing an unknown “creepy” man mumbling and washing dishes. She went to look for the children’s father, but couldn’t find him.

According to court documents, the woman then realized the unknown man had left with her vehicle. She asked someone else to call the police.

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The children’s father later arrived and told police that, based on the woman’s description, he believed the man washing dishes was a person he knew only as “Bernard.” He said the man – whom police later identified as 27-year-old Bernard Scott Berther – must have let himself in.

As an officer listened in, the woman called her cell phone – which she had left inside her vehicle – and spoke with Berther. He allegedly told her he thought he had taken another person’s car.

“(She) asked Bernard where he was and he told her he was at the Kwik Trip going towards Elroy,” the criminal complaint states. “(She) asked what he was doing there and he told her he was going to steal a blunt and she told him to stay there and continued to talk to him.”

Officers later located Berther parked at the Kwik Trip and took him into custody as he continued to insist the car belonged to someone else, according to the complaint.

The woman who spoke with Berther on the phone told police he sounded “really messed up.” One of the officers that detained him said Berther spoke softly, trailed off, and slurred his words.

The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office has charged Berther with felony vehicle theft, three counts of felony bail jumping, and a misdemeanor count of driving with a revoked license.

Berther currently is facing felony aggravated battery and bail jumping charges in Juneau County. A judge ordered Tuesday that he be held on a $500 cash bond in the Sauk County case. He is due in court Feb. 8.

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