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Man arrested after failing to return pickup to dealership

Apr 11, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A man from Moran was arrested Tuesday evening after reportedly failing to return a truck he had taken for a "test drive" from a Riverton car dealership.

Officials said 27-year-old Kristopher Cody Simmons-Patrick asked employees at Fremont Motors, 1601 N. Federal Blvd., if he could take the white Ford F350 crew cab pickup truck for a spin Tuesday afternoon. According to the 33-year-old Riverton woman with him in the vehicle, once they were on the road he decided to extend the test drive indefinitely.

"He dropped her off at a residence and told her he liked the truck and was going to keep it," Riverton Police Department Capt. Eric Murphy said Wednesday. "She didn't feel right about it, so she called Fremont Motors and let them know."

Officers entered the $61,300 vehicle into the National Crime Information Center database at about 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, and Murphy said information about the truck was broadcast to law enforcement agencies throughout Fremont County. The groups cooperated in searching for Simmons-Patrick, eventually locating him in the 100 block of C'Hair Lane at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

No damage was reported to the vehicle, but Murphy said Simmons-Patrick was arrested for obtaining property by false pretenses.

"Which is basically the stolen car," Murphy said. "And somehow we got into some fraudulent checks."

Simmons-Patrick also was arrested for fraud/non-sufficient funds check, but Murphy was unsure of the details that led to that charge.

"He did go to the bank," Murphy said.

Countywide cooperation

At about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the RPD requested help from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office in gathering information about Simmons-Patrick's whereabouts. According to reports, the suspect may have been living with a Lander resident, and officers hoped she could help them track him down.

An RPD officer contacted the FCSO again at about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday to report that Simmons-Patrick "may be" with the stolen vehicle at a residence along Wyoming Highway 789 north of Riverton.

"They had to check in different locations," FCSO Detective Sgt. Ryan Lee said Wednesday. "(We were looking in) various areas throughout the county."

It was a Wind River Police Department officer who located the suspect Tuesday evening on C'Hair Lane.

"The WRPD ended up finding the vehicle out there and pulling him over, because we'd listed it as stolen," Murphy said.

According to reports, the WRPD made contact with Simmons-Patrick and contacted the RPD when they determined the suspect was not an American Indian. Murphy said the FCSO made the physical arrest.

Simmons-Patrick is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Fremont County Circuit Court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

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