An Idaho Falls man who stole a combined $12,907.96 in tools, checks and financial transaction cards was sentenced to a rider program Thursday.
Micah Ellis, 36, was charged in August in three separate cases with three counts of grand theft, one count of burglary, one count of leaving the scene of an accident and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Two of the grand theft charges were dismissed, as was the drug paraphernalia charge.
District Judge Joel Tingey gave Ellis three concurrent underlying sentences for the remaining charges; two to five years in prison for leaving an accident, two to eight years for burglary and three to 10 years for grand theft.
Tingey told Ellis he would have to prove himself in the rider program, and that retained jurisdiction was on the light side as a sentence for three felonies.
The charges were based on multiple incidents starting in June when a woman reported her purse was stolen and that her credit card records showed someone had attempted unsuccessfully to use the card at a gas station. Surveillance footage caught Ellis attempting to purchase gas at times that matched the credit card records. He also attempted to use the card to purchase $1,011 in goods from a supermarket, but was unsuccessful.
Ellis was later involved in a three-car accident and abandoned his car on foot. The purse was found in the car, along with power tools, drug paraphernalia, and forged checks.
Ellis also pleaded guilty to stealing several power tools in Ucon. The tools had a combined value of $8,250, and were stolen just a few days after the theft of the purse.
Defense Attorney Neal Randall asked for the rider, saying Ellis’ actions were motivated by his drug addiction. Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Tanner Crowther also recommended retained jurisdiction, but added that the victims had asked him to convey how Ellis’ crimes affected them.
Crowther said the woman whose purse was stolen felt less safe in the community. He also cited a 21-year-old who was involved in the crash who was suffering from back injuries.
Ellis told the court he was ashamed of his actions and hoped the rider program would help with his addiction.