On July 20, Winfield Police officers and investigators with the Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit received information an Epic Concrete white Ford F-550 work truck was stolen from the parking lot of Casey’s in Winfield.
Witnesses stated a male exited a white Cadillac and jumped into the truck and drove off with the Cadillac following. Investigators and Winfield Police located the Cadillac in Winfield and took four individuals in custody.
According to the occupants of the Cadillac, 19-year-old Josiah “JoJo” Ortwerth, of St. Peters, drove off with the truck from Casey’s in Winfield. The occupants said they were talking about stealing a vehicle and meeting somewhere in Lincoln County afterward.
On July 22, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received information the truck backed into another vehicle in Union and drove off. Detectives responded to Union, began a search and located the vehicle driving along Highway 44, near Bowles Avenue.
Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop and took Ortwerth into custody. Ortwerth later told investigators he spotted the keys in the truck and took it and later met up with the Cadillac along Highway EE and Highway Y in Lincoln County. Ortwerth and two males loaded tools, bags and electrical equipment from the truck into the Cadillac.
Investigators are still searching for the stolen equipment.
“I would like to thank the Winfield Police Department for their law enforcement assistance, direct communication and timely information which lead to the recovery and ultimate arrest of Josiah Ortwerth. Their assistance is greatly appreciated,” Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle said.
Lincoln County prosecutors charged Ortwerth with Stealing of a Motor Vehicle and Felony Stealing, and he is currently housed in the Lincoln County Jail. Honorable Judge Greg Allsberry set bond at $20,000 cash only. Other conditions of bond may apply.
Additional arrests and charges are expected with this case.
(All persons charged in a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law)