A 25-year-old man faces charges after he reportedly took a work vehicle without the owner's consent. An officer later found the vehicle engulfed in flames in a ditch line.
Bryce Vincent Kalbus, of Fort Atkinson, has been charged with one felony count of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and misdemeanor bail jumping after a previous arrest or charge in which he failed to comply with the bond. According to the criminal complaint:
Officers from the Delavan Police Department were dispatched to the 3000 block North Shore Drive in Delavan on Wednesday, Dec.22, 2021, for a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, the officer on scene found a purple Toyota Tacoma on fire.
Once the scene was safe and secure, the officer approached the vehicle and was able to read the license plate number registered to Arbor Vista Nursery Inc. and an owner of the company.
The officer made contact with the owner who stated he knew exactly who was driving his work vehicle. Kalbus asked the owner to use his garage to work on his car. The owner of the vehicle advised the officer that a couple of work trucks are left unlocked on site and he could have been the only one to take the vehicle.
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The owner told the officer that he wanted to press charges against Kalbus for operating and driving his truck without his approval.
Kalbus later contacted the Walworth County Dispatch non-emergency line and told them that he was, indeed, the driver of the vehicle and ran the vehicle into a pole overnight. He had a revoked license and was clear he did not want the owner of the work truck to be blamed for his actions.
The defendant (Kalbus) was released on bond on Oct. 4, 2021, for a previous misdemeanor offense. The bond stated that he shall not drive a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license and not commit a new crime.