DNA evidence on a soda bottle left inside a stolen Jeep from Waunakee, along with video surveillance of a gas drive-off theft, has led to charges filed against a suspect in the case.

Bobby A. Clayton, age 20, no permanent address, is facing two counts, including a felony for operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and misdemeanor theft, in connection with a January 2018 incident at Cross Street in Waunakee.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court, Waunakee Police were dispatched to Cross Street at approximately 8:33 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2018, for a report of a vehicle taken in front a building. The vehicle owner reported she had left her Jeep running with the keys in the ignition, along with her purse and phone.

On Jan. 14, officers spoke with a City of Fitchburg Police Officer who indicated the Jeep had been recovered in Fitchburg and had been “trashed,” the criminal complaint states.

On July 20, Waunakee Police received a letter from the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory regarding their findings with DNA found on an empty Sprite bottle police had located inside the Jeep when it was recovered. According to the criminal complaint, the DNA matched Clayton’s. As police looked at a booking photo of Clayton, “he appeared to be the suspect wearing red shoes shown on Kwik Trip surveillance that captured a gas drive off involving the stolen Jeep on Jan. 10, 2018, at 7:05 p.m.,” the complaint states.

Waunakee police viewed the surveillance of the gas drive-off at the Windsor Kwik-Trip which, the complaint states, showed a clear view of Clayton’s face.

If convicted of the first count of operating a motor without the owner’s consent, Clayton could face up to a $10,000 fine or six years in prison.

The sentence for the misdemeanor theft is a maximum fine of $10,000 or nine months in prison.

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