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Albert Lea man pleads not guilty to felony theft

An Albert Lea man charged in a police chase late last month involving a stolen vehicle out of Freeborn County pleaded not guilty Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Montique Rinaldo Bickham, 21, is charged with felony theft.

Montique Rinaldo Bickham Jr.

According to a court report, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a vehicle stolen from a residence at 12:55 p.m. April 25 on 800th Avenue in Albert Lea. A witness said Bickham came over to the home demanding a ride. When he was refused a ride, Bickham allegedly stole the vehicle, a 2017 GMC Sierra, out of the garage of the residence.

Officers reportedly pursued the vehicle, which fled at speeds as high as 90 mph, until it drove into a ditch, went through a fence and stopped in a field of eastbound Interstate 90 near mile marker 183 in Mower County.

Bickham attempted to flee the officers on foot and was arrested at gunpoint. The vehicle was valued at $54,000 by its owner in a stolen vehicle report.

A settlement conference is scheduled for May 25, and a jury trial is scheduled for June 27, if the case has not been settled by then.

Felony theft carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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