From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 106, Number 7 - February 12, 2009
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Burglary suspect arrested

by Jonathan Van Dyke

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) arrested a suspect on charges of burglary on Feb. 3.

Brandon Cope, 23, originally from California but transplanted to Big Piney, was arrested and is suspected of breaking into 16 vehicles in Pinedale and stealing at least 15 separate items.

“I don’t know how he would select the vehicle, but he’d stop for the ones unlocked,” said Brian Ketterhagen, captain of investigations. “There were a lot of items stolen.”

Calls began to come into the SCSO on Sunday, Jan. 31, and continued through that Tuesday. Items as varied as a firearm and a coat were lifted from the vehicles.

That Tuesday, the SCSO got a call from a resident that had witnessed the suspicious behavior of a possibly drunk driver. Deputy Justin Hays arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.

Officers had been earlier notified of the rash of stolen items, and Hays noticed a wallet out of place in the car. He asked Cope for consent to look into the vehicle, at which time Hays identified the wallet as stolen.

“Everything was confirmed, he was arrested, brought to the station, interviewed and at that time he confessed to taking the items,” Ketterhagen said.

The captain applauded Hays and the tipoff.

“That helped with what otherwise would have been 16 open cases, but instead we had it solved pretty quickly,” he added.

The Sublette County Attorney’s Office has filed an initial charge of burglary, but

each separate theft could lead to a separate charge.

Cope is being held at the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

“Once I feel there is enough probablecause to proceed, I will file the remaining charges,” Deputy Attorney Allegra Davis said. “At this point, the Sublette County Attorney’s Office anticipates filing additional charges this week.”

A preliminary hearing could be held as soon as today.

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