Records: Soldier accused of stealing armored vehicle violated bond by researching bombs

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — A U.S. Army National Guard officer accused of stealing an armored car and leading authorities on a chase is now accused of breaking his bond agreement by traveling to Iraq and researching bomb-making.

Joshua Philip Yabut, 29, of Richmond, was arrested June 5 and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, felony eluding and a felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle in Richmond. Yabut’s DUI charge and unauthorized use of a vehicle were set aside Sept. 28, 2018.

A Grand Jury in Nottoway County indicted Yabut July 3, 2018, with felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

According to court documents, Yabut was granted a $5,000 secured bond Aug. 18, 2018, with the added requirement of a GPS tracking device and that he comply with pre-trial services. It was also noted that Yabut not leave the state.

On Jan. 22, 2019, court documents state Yabut’s GPS tracker indicated he was at an airport in Norfolk, later pinging him in Jacksonville, FL.

“On Jan. 23, 2018, his GPS tracker indicated he was at the Miami International Airport, and later that day the GPS tracker indicated the location was Ontario, Canada,” court documents state.

Yabut confirmed his GPS tracking to the Virginia National Guard on Jan. 31 for his travel to Florida the week before.

“The defendant also confirmed that he traveled to other countries, including Iraq and Turkey,” court documents state.

A pre-trial violation report says Yabut was traveling to Iraq “to engage in photography.” That report also says the GPS monitor “went into location fail” and that a new monitor was installed on Jan. 29.

Nottoway County Circuit Court documents say that Yabut’s “recent online activity reveals research into bomb making."

He's now in custody in Richmond again and is set to appear in court next month.

Virginia Army National Guard spokesman, A.A. “Cotton” Puryear, said when Yabut’s chain of command was notified about his bond violation they retrieved his military identification card.

“He had maintained the card in order to access his benefits, to include potential medical care,” Puryear said.

Yabut is still a member of the Virginia National Guard, according to Puryear, but is not currently drilling with his unit as his case continues.

“The Virginia National Guard is waiting for the completion of the civilian actions pending against him to take any military disciplinary action,” Puryear said. “Once those civilian actions are complete, the VNG will determine the appropriate course of action in regard to this military status.”

Yabut, a 1st lieutenant assigned as the commander of the Petersburg-based Headquarters Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, is accused of taking the APC from Fort Pickett and driving it up I-95, through the city of Richmond driving down The Boulevard in Scott’s Addition, along Broad Street in “The Fan” before surrendering at East Broad and 11th Streets at 9:40 p.m.