A man charged with burglarizing a business and stealing two cars accepted a plea deal Friday in Natrona County District Court that would place him on three years of supervised probation.
David Kohler was charged with felony burglary and two counts of felony theft for stealing a SmartCar and a vintage Ford Mustang. The charge related to the SmartCar would be dropped in the deal, which still requires a judge’s final approval.
The state recommended a prison sentence of five to 10 years, suspended in favor of the probation. Kohler was also placed on three years of supervised probation in a plea deal for unrelated child pornography charges. The two probationary periods will run at the same time.
Police responded to a report in November of a burglary at a business after the owner found a set of keys and a SmartCar missing from his inventory. After talking to employees, the owner learned that several power tools, more than $1,000 worth in total, were also taken.
The total value of the items stolen was just over $6,000, according to court documents.
Kohler, a former employee at the business, apparently had an affinity for the specific brand of tools that were stolen.
Approximately a week later, the same person reported that a 1965 Ford Mustang had also been stolen from him.
In interviews cited in an affidavit tied to his arrest, Kohler told investigators that he broke into the business through a window, stole the Mustang keys and left in the SmartCar, which he found parked out front. Kohler said that the business owner frequently left cars running with the keys in the ignition.
He reportedly drove the SmartCar to a church off Casper Mountain Road and threw the keys in a nearby field. Police found the car at the church after a suspicious call was rung in for it.
According to the affidavit, Kohler told investigators that he drove the Mustang to a house in the Denver area, where he left it with a woman in exchange for three ounces of methamphetamine.