(Beaver Dam) A former inmate at the John Burke Correctional Center in Waupun was sentenced to six years in prison for committing various crimes while on work release. James Pederson was found guilty on felony charges of Escape and three counts of Take and Drive a Vehicle without the Owners Consent. Additional Theft and Burglary charges were dismissed but read into the record.
In 2018, a supervisor of Northwoods Paper Converting in Beaver Dam told authorities that Pederson stole a co-worker’s vehicle and left the worksite. The car was later located on the shoulder of County Road E, just down the road from another vehicle Pederson took and crashed into a ditch.
The 41-year-old later returned to the worksite, in a third vehicle he stole, and was taken into custody. When questioned about his actions, Pederson said that he had (quote) “no idea” and that “it doesn’t make any sense to [him].”
Pederson was also placed on extended supervision for 12 years.