Wakonda Man Sentenced For Vehicle Theft

A Wakonda South Dakota man was sentenced on Tuesday for a vehicle theft that occurred last summer in Lake County. Christopher Barta entered a guilty plea to one count of grand theft by possession of stolen property, which is a Class 4 felony. 

On July 11th, 2022, the Madison Police Department responded to the two reports of a stolen vehicle.  After arriving at the report of the second stolen vehicle, Madison Police Officers located the first one that was reported stolen abandoned nearby.  The second report was for a pickup and trailer. That evening, law enforcement received a report of a male trying to retrieve a vehicle from a tow yard in Chester.  Officers confirmed that the person, later identified as Christopher Barta of Wakonda, had arrived in Chester in the stolen pickup from the second report.  Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Madison Police Department officers responded and took Barta into custody.  Through the investigation, the missing trailer was also located in the Chester area.  

Barta had been in prison since the incident, on a parole violation, and was released last week. Circuit Judge Pat Pardy sentenced Barta to 4 years in the Penitentiary, but suspended that sentence based on several conditions, including that Barta pay court costs and restitution, as well as reimburse the county for his court-appointed attorney’s fees.