Niles man gets prison time for vehicle theft

Published 1:12 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

NILES — A Niles man who unlawfully took another person’s car was sentenced to prison Monday in Berrien County Trial Court in Niles. 

Jason Ray Tolley, 42, of Niles, pleaded guilty to unlawful driving away of an automobile and was sentenced to 16  months to five years in prison. He has credit for 69 days already served and must pay $198 in fines and costs. He must pay $1,400 in fines and costs and could be subject to more restitution at a later date for the value of the car. 

The incident occurred Dec. 5 in Niles. 

Tolley also pleaded guilty to violating his probation from an earlier probation for stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent of the owner. He was given credit for 154 days served and had his probation revoked.  

Defense attorney Scott Sanford said Tolley disputed paying more than $1,400 in restitution. The victim is also claiming that Tolley owes the value of the car which was repossessed. Tolley apologized for his actions.

“I let drugs cloud my judgment,” he said. 

Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith noted that Tolley had been given an opportunity on probation and had violated it. “You were given an opportunity on probation to address your issues,” she said. “We can only do so much. If you continue to commit crimes, it’s on you. Your actions have consequences.”