Nikolas Pigozzo, Minot, charged with burglary

Nikolas Richard Pigozzo, 28, Minot is accused of stealing a bicycle from a southwest Minot garage on Friday and riding away from police.

Pigozzo is charged in district court in Minot with Class C felony burglary.

Pigozzo also is a suspect in a phone theft from Verizon earlier on Friday and of stealing four watches, valued at about $79.95 from Kohl’s. He was charged with Class B misdemeanor petty theft in Minot Municipal Court.

“I think I was being chased by human traffickers,” Pigozzo told Judge Todd Cresap in court during his initial appearance on Monday. “I had to get out of there. I broke the law to save my own life.”

Pigozzo made his initial appearance via interactive television from the Ward County Jail on Monday. He was wearing an anti-suicide smock.

A prosecutor said Pigozzo has a past criminal history in other jurisdictions. Pigozzo was convicted of Class C felony terrorizing and Class B misdemeanor simple assault in district court in Cass County in 2016. He received a deferred imposition of sentence for two years of supervised probation on a Class B felony theft of property charge in district court in Burleigh County in February. On that charge, he was ordered to pay $6,246.26 in restitution. He is currently on probation in district court in Burleigh County on a Class A felony possession of stolen property charge. For that charge he was sentenced in February to two years in prison, all suspended but the 77 days he had served in jail, and 18 months supervised probation. He was also ordered to complete recommended treatment.

Cresap set bond at $5,000 cash or corporate surety on the new charges and set a preliminary hearing date for Aug. 1.