Carl Eckenrode

Eckenrode

An Idaho Falls man who was one of three defendants charged for the theft of several expensive construction tools was sentenced to a rider program Wednesday.

Carl Eckenrode, 42, was arrested in December along with Joseph Herrera, 34, and Lisa Ritchie, 27, after Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputies witnessed them loading the tools into a truck after the tools were reported missing.

A plea deal was reached in the grand theft case. District Judge Bruce Pickett gave Eckenrode an underlying sentence of two to eight years in prison.

A rider program, also known as retained jurisdiction, is a treatment program lasting between six months and a year that aims to reduce a person’s risk of recidivism while they are incarcerated. If Eckenrode completes the program, Pickett can either release him on probation or impose the underlying sentence, based on Eckenrode’s performance.

Security footage near the construction site captured the trio removing a trailer full of the tools. Deputies later determined the vehicle in the footage belonged to Eckenrode.

After receiving tips, sheriff’s deputies located the group and watched as the group moved tools from a nearby residence into a truck belonging to Ritchie.

Eckenrode and Herrera left in the truck and the deputies performed a traffic stop. The tools in the truck matched the description given to law enforcement.

Both Ritchie and Herrera had their cases put on hold and warrants issued for their arrests. Court records state Ritchie failed to appear for a hearing, and that Herrera is wanted for reportedly violating the terms of his release.

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