Aug 18, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterOn the way home from Burger King on June 26, a 19-year-old Riverton man climbed into the yard of Greenline Equipment, started up an all terrain vehicle and drove it through a fence, police say.
Based on that theory of the case, prosecutors filed felony burglary charges against the defendant, Shane Cook Jr.
The next day a Fremont County Sheriff's Office deputy found the 2011 John Deere Gator vehicle on Burma Road. Cook was at the wheel and three other people were on board, according to court documents.
Richard McConnaughey of Greenline Equipment said the ATV was worth $8,500, according to court documents.
An affidavit from Fremont County Sheriff's Office deputy Arnie Zertuche stated Cook said he stole the vehicle with the help of an unidentified minor.
Cook, the minor and the Gator's two other passengers were walking to Burger King on Federal Boulevard when Cook talked about stealing a "side by side" ATV, Zertuche said after interviewing all four people.
As they returned home they passed Wild West Powersports, and Cook and the juvenile talked about stealing an ATV from there, the affidavit stated. Then they came upon Greenline Equipment and saw the Gator; Cook and the juvenile decided to take the ATV.
McConnaughey said the vehicle was stolen June 26.
The two climbed over a fence, got in the Gator, drove it through the fence and picked up the other two people.
Zertuche interviewed the four people after finding them on Burma Road. The deputy was looking for a vehicle matching the Gator's description and saw one on that road headed north, according to his affidavit.
Zertuche pulled it over and found Cook driving it with the juvenile in the passenger seat and the two other people lying in the ATV's cargo bed, the deputy stated.
The deputy began the investigation after McConnaughey reported the vehicle missing June 27. Greenline Equipment had been servicing the Gator for its owner, Blaine Anderson, and McConnaughey said it was stolen the night before, according to the affidavit.
Circuit Court Judge Wesley Roberts bound over to District Court a burglary and a conspiracy to commit burglary charge against Cook on July 30.
The defendant waived a preliminary hearing in his case, court documents show.
Together the charges carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.