RACINE — 41-year-old Jennifer Bixby of Kenosha and 36-year-old David Stich of Racine face criminal charges in connection with the theft of scrap metal and a high-speed pursuit that unfolded in Racine County.
Bixby is charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety (felony) and misdemeanor theft – party to a crime. Stich faces two counts — misdemeanor theft – party to a crime and bail jumping.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to Racine Metal Fab in the Town of Yorkville shortly before 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 8th. The person who called police to report the theft indicated the suspect vehicle was a red pickup truck with a red LED light that went the full length of the rear bumper. One officer located the suspect vehicle on State Highway 11 a short time later.
The complaint indicates the officer could see the suspect truck had no license plate — and he “could see the stolen scrap metal in the bed of the truck. The suspect truck was going about 80 mph at this time” and the officer activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop.
The complaint goes on to say Bixby, the alleged driver in the truck, sped up to about 103 mph — and then turned from State Highway 11 to northbound I-94. The complaint says there were two state troopers in the right shoulder with a traffic stop of their own when the suspect vehicle in this case drove by. According to the complaint, “It appeared that the driver of the suspect vehicle was trying to figure out if the state trooper squads…were there to try to tire spike the vehicle or not and the suspect vehicle was moving further over to the right shoulder like they were going to go around the trooper squads on the right.” Eventually, the suspect vehicle passed the trooper squads within four feet of the troopers at about 60 mph. A short time later, the suspect vehicle pulled over to the side of the road. Bixby and Stich were taken into custody.
While in the rear sear seat of the officer’s squad, Bixby indicated she and Stich (her husband) “were just taking the scrap metal to sell to get some extra money” for a birthday party that was supposed to be later that day. Bixby told the officer “she knew she should have stopped but was scared and did not know what to do.” She indicated she had purchased the truck she was driving the morning before and “took the plates off the truck so she wouldn’t get caught.”
The complaint indicates Stich was on bond for battery and disorderly conduct “which contained a condition to commit no other crimes while on bond.”
A deputy estimated the value of the stolen scrap metal was around $200 – $500.