AFFIDAVIT: Casper Man Traded Former Boss’s ’65 Mustang for Meth
Documents filed in Natrona County District Court alleging that a Casper man stole two separate cars from his former boss within a week.
David Kohler is charged with one count of burglary and two counts of theft in Natrona County District Court, all of which are felonies, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, on November 4, Casper police officers were called to a business on Burlington Avenue for a reported burglary.
When an officer arrived at the business the owner of the business, reported that he had been burglarized, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the business owner stated that upon arriving at his business, he noticed that his office door was unlocked. The business owner also said that he noticed a screen from his outside window was cut out and lying on the ground outside.
The business owner investigated further and noticed that a set of keys was missing from the area in which he keeps all of the company keys. The business owner inventoried his company vehicles and found that an orange and silver “Smart Car” was missing, according to the affidavit.
Court documents state after speaking with employees about the vehicle, one of the business owner's employees noted that he was missing a collection of power tools, including approximately four to six Milwaukee drills, three Milwaukee batteries, and a charger.
According to court documents, when the officer arrived, the business owner said that he suspected a former employee named David Kohler had been the one to steal the car. The business owner reportedly added that Kohler was an active drug user who was involved in a separate burglary of the business owner's other shop on North Poplar Street. He also noted that Kohler “had a thing for Milwaukee tools.”
The business owner estimated that the value of the “Smart Car” was approximately $4,000, while the value of the key fob that was stolen had a value of approximately $1,000, the affidavit alleges. He also estimated that the value of the Milwaukee tools that were taken was approximately $1,050.
Court documents further allege that in total, the value stolen from the business owner was approximately $6,050. The business owner did state that in order to get a new key for the car, he would have to transport the Smart Car to Denver, Colorado, where it would be sent to Germany to get re-keyed.
On November 11, exactly one week after the first call, officers responded to another call at the same business location where the same reporting party, Gordon the business owner, said that his red, 1965 Ford Mustang had been stolen, the affidavit states.
The business owner said that he last saw his mustang, which he said was a gift for his wife, on the evening of November 10. He saw that the car was missing around 12:00 P.M. on November 11, court documents state. The business owner denied giving anybody permission to use the car and said that it could not have been repossessed. He approximated the value of the car to be around $40,000 and said that it was not insured.
Two days later, on November 13, at approximately 5:00 P.M., Casper PD officers were dispatched to an Episcopal church on Poplar Street, regarding a suspicious “Smart Car” that was parked on the north side of the church, the affidavit alleges. Upon running the registration number, the CPD Dispatch advised that the vehicle had been stolen.
The caller stated the vehicle had been parked at the church for a while and that nobody from the church knew to whom the vehicle belonged, court documents allege.
The business owner then arrived at the scene to identify his vehicle. The car was locked, but the business owner did not identify any damage to it.
On November 20, the suspected thief/burglar was located by the Casper Police Department.
Casper PD located David Kohler and he agreed to be interviewed, court documents state.
The detective interviewed Kohler, who admitted to the burglary on November 4. Kohler stated he did enter the business through an open window and that, during the burglary, he took the keys to the aforementioned Mustang. He denied taking anything else from the shop.
Kohler allegedly said that he believed his former employer was careless with his vehicles and that the victim had been known to leave his keys in the ignition with the engine running.
Kohler allegedly admitted to taking the vehicle and using it as a "getaway car" because he thought somebody was after him, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Kohler took the car for a "joyride," before parking it in front of the church. When asked about the keys to the vehicle, Kohler stated that he threw them in a nearby field.
Kohler then admitted during the interview that he returned to the business about a week after the initial burglary, and took the aforementioned 1965 Mustang, which he then drove to Colorado, court documents allege.
The affidavit states Kohler admitted that he traded the Mustang to a woman living in Denver, in exchange for 3 ounces of methamphetamine.
He reportedly said the woman had always wanted a vintage Mustang.
Kohler denied recalling the woman's name but did offer an address and a description of the house and surrounding area at which he left the vehicle.
Officers used Kohler's descriptions, as well as a Google Maps picture of the residence, to discover the woman's name and address.
Casper PD reached out to Adams County Dispatch in Denver and deputies responded to the given address.
Kohler said he last saw the Mustang in the woman's garage, but when Adams County deputies showed up at the address, a woman came out of the house within seconds of their arrival, the affidavit states.
The woman reportedly told deputies that there was a car in the garage, but that it was not a vintage red and white Mustang. The woman reportedly told the officers that her son was working in the garage and, because of the fumes, she would not allow the deputies to look inside the garage. She did, however, produce a picture that showed what half of the garage looked like.
Adams County Deputies took a copy of the woman's driver's license and sent it to Casper PD, who then showed it to Kohler. He stated that the woman he left the Mustang with did resemble the woman on the license.
Casper police passed that information along to the Adams County deputies, who gave it to to the Adams County District Attorney's Office.
According to the affidavit, based upon the information given, Adams County District Attorney's felt there was not sufficient evidence for Adams County deputies to obtain a search warrant for the woman's house. Deputies did state that they would continue to help as much as they could in order to recover the business owner's Mustang.
Due to Kohler's admission of burglarizing the business owner business, and his admission of stealing both cars, detectives believed there was probable cause to charge him with two counts of theft and one count of burglary the affidavit states.
Kohler has not had an opportunity to formally enter pleas to the above charges, and he will do so during an upcoming district court arraignment.
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