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Crime & Courts

More serious charges filed in theft case

SYCAMORE — Prosecutors added more felony charges Tuesday against a 43-year-old Burlington man accused of stealing a trailer and having crack cocaine, authorities said.

Michael S. Gottal, of the 300 block of South Main Street, now faces charges of theft, burglary and possession of a stolen license plate on top of the original charges. He had initially been charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools and driving with a suspended license.

DeKalb County Sheriff's police said Gottal was driving near the intersection of Melms Road and Route 23 in Genoa about 2:55 a.m. Monday when police stopped him after learning the trailer he was pulling had been reported stolen in Winnebago County.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a substance police suspect was crack cocaine, as well as burglary tools. The trailer is worth about $3,000 and contained about $5,000 in electrical wire, police said.

Prosecutors added more charges, police said, as a result of continued investigation by the Sheriff's office.

Gottal could face a harsher sentence because of a previous criminal conviction, police said. If convicted of possession of a stolen license plate, he could face between three and seven years in prison.

Gottal remained in jail Tuesday unable to post 10 percent of his $100,000 bond. He is next due in court April 17.

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