South Tahoe car thief receives lengthy prison sentence

Kurt Hildebrand


STATELINE, Nev. — An admitted car thief, who found he wouldn’t be allowed in a treatment program with methamphetamine in his system, was sentenced to 43-108 months in prison.

Thad Michael Sidney Winton, 31, said he tried to check in to the Salvation Army program a second time when he was sober, but was late.

“If I had stolen another car, I could have made it to the program in time,” Winton said. “But I decided not to do that.”

Winton was arrested Sept. 21 after he took a 2001 Lincoln Navigator from a South Lake Tahoe home. South Lake Tahoe police chased him into Douglas County where Winton sped through the Stateline casino corridor.

“The defendant drove at a high rate of speed through Stateline, a congested area with pedestrians,” Prosecutor A.J. Hames said.

Winton stopped in Zephyr Cove after recognizing there wasn’t anyplace else to go.

He admitted charges of attempting to elude a police officer and possession of a stolen vehicle on Nov. 3 and was allowed to attend the treatment program.

Instead he and another man were arrested Nov. 23 in Minden on drug and weapons charges. Those charges are still pending in East Fork Justice Court, but could add more time to Winton’s sentence.

District Judge Tod Young sentenced Winton to 24-60 months on the eluding charge and 19-48 months for the possession of a stolen vehicle.

“You have 11 prior felonies,” Young said. “You just can’t keep living like this.”

Winton was given credit for 75 days he served in jail since his first arrest.

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