A Madison man is facing a felony charge of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. Del Demonte D. Bell, age 22, is accused of taking a BMW that its owner was attempting to sell on Aug. 24.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County court, police responded to a call at 8:14 p.m. Aug. 24 on Woodland Drive in Waunakee. The vehicle owner reported he was trying to sell the gray 2001 BMW and had the car parked on a driveway on his property not visible from the roadway. The vehicle was left unlocked, and the key was left on the center console of the vehicle.

The vehicle owner was using Craigslist and received “a strange call from an unknown male at 5:36 p.m.,” the criminal complaint notes. The vehicle owner became suspicious of and placed a call back to the male. Waunakee police were on the scene when the male called the vehicle owner back, and a records check of the phone number came back associated with the name Del Demonte D. Bell, the defendant, according to the criminal complaint. Bell was later identified via a Dane County booking photo.

On Aug. 26, at approximately 3:03 p.m., Waunakee police learned that Jefferson County had located the stolen vehicle.

A Jefferson County detective informed Waunakee Police that in the early morning hours of Aug. 26, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office had received multiple burglary complaints and learned that at least two individuals were involved, including Bell, and they were staying at the Quality Inn on Seybold Road in Madison, according to the criminal complaint.

Waunakee Police and Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Quality Inn and located Bell and another individual, the complaint states. They also located the BMW’s key fob and confirmed the vehicle was parked in the parking lot, the complaint notes.

Investigators viewed the hotel surveillance video and saw the stolen BMW arrive there at approximately 5:31 a.m. and identified the suspect, according to the complaint.

Bell will appear for a preliminary hearing in Dane County Circuit Court on Oct. 31, according to online court records. If convicted, he could be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for no more than six years. In addition, as a repeat offender, having been convicted of vehicle operator flee/elude officer, the term could be increased.

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