By Brandi Makuski
A Plover man was convicted Tuesday for stealing from the Colonel.
Nathanieal V. Pringle II, 33, was arrested in the early morning hours of July 10, 2018, after leading Plover police on a brief foot pursuit. Pringle, who was dressed in black and appeared to be carrying something as he walked, seemed suspicious to a patrol officer passing by shortly before 3 a.m. on the 1800 block of Plover Rd. He refused to stop when asked to, and when the officer turned on his emergency lights, Pringle began to run.
His escape was slowed when he fell into the water of a drainage ditch behind Copps Market, according to the criminal complaint, and officers were able to take him into custody. One of the officers sustained a leg injury in the process.
After he was placed in handcuffs, Pringle reportedly told officers he ran away from the squad car because he’d been working late and decided to smoke marijuana while walking home, the complaint said. As officers searched him, Pringle admitted to carrying two bank bags from his employer, the Plover location of Kentucky Fried Chicken, containing cash. Pringle said it was company policy to take the bags home with him each night as a safeguard against a theft inside the store, the complaint said.
The bags contained a total of $2,175.20.
Police later interviewed an area manager for the restaurant, who confirmed Pringle was a store supervisor, and while he had keys and access to the store safe, he knew the bank bags were supposed to be left under lock and key at the store until they were taken for deposit with the company’s bank.
The manager also said employees were always gone from the restaurant by 11 p.m., and after that there was no reason for Pringle, or anyone else, to be in the store.
Pringle did not come in for his scheduled shift on July 9, the complaint said, but video surveillance showed he entered the store at 2:37 a.m. wearing gloves and black clothing and carrying a flashlight. The video showed Pringle entering the safe and removing the bags, and attempting to cover his face from the camera as he left the store.
Pringle later told police he “was in a bind and made a mistake,” adding, “it was one of the dumbest choices” he ever made.
Pringle was released last July on a $2,500 signature bond and appeared on April 23 before Portage Co. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Flugaur with his attorney Jessica Phelps. He pleaded no contest to burglary from a building or dwelling, a Class F felony. A charge of theft of movable property was dismissed but read in for sentencing.
Pringle was given a deferred sentence of 12 months in the Portage Co. Jail.