Sometimes, the victim of a crime is a law enforcement officer. This time, the victim was Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel.
39-year-old Jason Warner of Michigan is charged with breaking into Hardel’s Town of Maine home and stealing his pickup truck. Police say Warner also left another vehicle in Hardel’s yard Tuesday.
Warner allegedly took the Chief’s truck to a truck stop, and got a ride with someone from there. He was apprehended later Tuesday afternoon by State Patrol troopers, who found him walking along Interstate 94 in Jackson County.
Warner was reported as missing and endangered by his family. Now, he’s facing fines and nearly 20 years in prison if convicted. Judge Greg Huber set Warner’s bond Thursday at $20,000 cash. He’s also ordered to take his medications, have no burglary tools, and to have no contact with the Hardel family.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.