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Published February 06 2012

Theft suspect’s freedom gone after stiffing bondsman

FARGO – A Fargo man accused of looting storage units and using the stolen goods to furnish his home is now accused of stiffing his bail bondsman, too, after a bizarre chain of events that quickly landed him back behind bars.

Brandon Todd Bailey, 27, was released from the Cass County Jail at about 11 p.m. Friday after the bondsman posted $10,000 bail for him.

Police say Bailey tried to secure the bail with two stolen items: a trailer and a pickup truck, both belonging to his former neighbor whose Harley-Davidson motorcycle Bailey was already accused of stealing.

Lt. Joel Vettel said the bondsman required Bailey to provide paperwork proving that he owned the trailer and truck, so they went to Bailey’s former residence at 816 32nd St. N.

Vettel said Bailey pretended he still lived there, going so far as to pull the mail from the mailbox – that is, until the home’s current tenant opened the front door.

The bondsman, Armando Amaya, told The Forum on Monday that the tenant “just kind of looked at me and looked at Bailey and closed the door.”

“I was thinking, like, there’s something not right here,” Amaya said.

Amaya said Bailey told him he didn’t know what was going on and asked to use his phone so he could call his ex-girlfriend. Amaya said he could hear the woman on the phone tell Bailey that the key to the pickup was in a dresser drawer in the home.

When they got out of Amaya’s vehicle to go get the key, Bailey took off running, Amaya said. He said he chased Bailey for half a block, then later around two mobile homes, before losing track of him.

Amaya said he called Bailey’s ex-girlfriend and learned that Bailey had called her from his former workplace, Amity Technology, 2800 7th Ave. N. Bailey was fired from the business on Jan. 17, court records show. Acting on a tip from Amaya, an Amity employee found Bailey hiding in an office, a police report states. Officers arrived and arrested Bailey and took him to jail, Vettel said.

Bailey was charged Monday in Cass County District Court with theft of services for the alleged bail bond deception and with burglary for allegedly breaking into Amity and stealing three garage door openers so he could get in again if he left, Vettel said.

Bailey’s public defender wasn’t available for comment Monday afternoon.

The felony theft charge previously filed against Bailey alleges he stole an estimated $17,000 worth of property from storage units and used much of it to furnish the home he shared with his girlfriend. He’s also accused of stealing the motorcycle, an ATV and a trailer.

Bailey was arrested Jan. 19 after he reportedly tried to pawn stolen tools. Police served a search warrant on his SUV and home and recovered $7,000 in allegedly stolen tools, court documents state.

Bailey’s bail Monday was set at $20,000 – cash only.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528