By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan theft suspect absconds

Albert Prettyman, 39, of McMinnville, pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree theft and second-degree burglary, both Class C felonies. He was sentenced to 10 days in the Yamhill County Jail, followed by 18 months of probation and fined $300.

Community Corrections officer Lisa Settell said Prettyman violated terms of his probation in late February by  dropping out of a court-ordered treatment program and resuming use of methamphetamine.

In early March, she said, he was sentenced to another eight days in jail as a consequence, plus two days on a work detail.

However, in late March, he failed to report to court as scheduled. Circuit Judge John Collins responded by issuing a warrant for his arrest on a probation violation.

A male accomplice in the case also changed his plea to guilty and underwent sentencing, and an alleged female accomplice is scheduled to follow suit later this month.

Joseph Gage, 20, of McMinnville, pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, both Class C felonies. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 18 months on probation, a 12-month driver’s license suspension and a $200 fine.

Tracie Hamilton, 46, of Sheridan, is facing one count each of first-degree theft, second-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She is scheduled to accept a plea bargain and undergo sentencing later this month.

Sheriff’s deputy Nathan Skaer gave this account of the theft in a probable cause affidavit:

In early November, a dirt bike, 50-inch television and set of golf clubs were taken from a storage unit at 1527 W. Main St. Deputies quickly identified Gage as a suspect, and served him with an arrest warrant for failure to appear for sentencing in a September police pursuit.

Gage admitted teaming up with two individuals in carrying out the crime. He said a lock pick was to gain access.

He said he took the dirt bike, which he later traded for a pound of marijuana.

Skaer identified Hamilton from surveillance video, and she also admitted involvement.

She said Prettyman asked her to give him the facility PIN so he could visit a locker on which he was behind on payments. She did so, she said, and joined Gage in accompanying him.

Hamilton said Gage enlisted her to help load the TV set and dirt bike, and let her take a test ride on the bike. She said Gage had someone else pick up the bike and they stashed the rest of their take at her RV on Southwest Water Street.

In addition to the charges from the storage unit theft, Gage is still facing two counts of reckless endangering and one count each of reckless driving and attempt to elude from the pursuit.

It began when state trooper Dan Davis attempted to stop a 1997 Honda Prelude on the Bellevue Highway, southeast of Sheriidan. After a chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph, the driver bailed out on foot, leaving two women behind.

The women identified the driver as Gage, who was driving on a suspended license at the time and wanted on a warrant out of Polk County. He was taken into custody about two weeks later, following a foot pursuit.


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