Accused of auto theft, Oklahoma City woman likely to spend holidays in PCJ

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Charged with auto theft in a Cloverdale incident Monday, a 30-year-old Oklahoma City woman is facing the likely prospect of spending Christmas in jail.

Kara Nicole Steadman made her initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon before Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges, telling the court she had been traveling from Oklahoma in the hopes of visiting family in Ohio for the holidays. Despite visions of Christmas dancing in her head, what she’ll most likely now see is the inside of the Putnam County Jail.

In entering a not-guilty plea on her behalf, Judge Bridges named Trudy Selvia as Steadman’s court-appointed legal counsel and set a pretrial conference in the case for 10 a.m. Feb. 22.

“Do I have to stay in jail until then?” the defendant asked incredulously.

“You do unless you bond out,” Judge Bridges replied simply, setting bond at $5,000 cash in the Level 6 felony auto theft case that carries a sentencing range of 6-30 months in jail.

There were indications both in court and in Cloverdale Sgt. Charlie Hallam’s incident report that the defendant has been homeless and has possibly been moving from truck stop to truck stop.

“I came here with eight dollars and 22 cents,” she told the judge during her hearing.

Bridges noted that her criminal history includes theft convictions in Oklahoma.

The auto theft case unfolded just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12 when a black 1999 Isuzu SUV, owned by Cassie Yeadon, was reported stolen from the Cloverdale Arby’s parking lot.

Through Arby’s security system, authorities were able to identify the suspect as a small female wearing a baseball cap. “Arby’s personnel described her as possibly homeless,” Hallam’s report noted.

Further video showed the suspect hanging around the restaurant parking lot and appearing to check out vehicles as their occupants parked and went inside Arby’s before she reportedly stumbled onto the Yeadon car with the keys in the ignition.

About 30 minutes later, Indiana State Police Trooper Dave Cox Jr. stopped the stolen car on County Road 1000 South at County Road 700 East.

That’s when Steadman reportedly told him she had been working for a trucking company and had been dropped off at the Cloverdale truck stop. There, at the Arby’s restaurant, she was supposedly offered a job by a man who asked her to deliver a load of bread to needy people for his church.

She reportedly told police the man had given her the keys to the SUV and a list of addresses of where to deliver the bread.

The cargo area of the vehicle did hold a large amount of bread loaves, police said, but Yeadon advised that was old bread she had picked up at the Value Market for feeding to her farm animals.

Steadman also told police she had been in Paris, Ill., and knew the Cloverdale area and had friends there. However, she could not give any names or locations when asked for specifics.

She was booked into the Putnam County Jail at 3:43 p.m. Monday.

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