Suspect facing felony after he's found in stolen vehicle - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Suspect facing felony after he’s found in stolen vehicle

Robert John Northrop (courtesy of the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office)

CASPER, Wyo. — A man was arrested in Natrona County on Monday, after it was reported that he had been found inside of a parked vehicle that had been reported stolen.

Robert John Northrop, age 37, faces a felony charge of Theft as well as two misdemeanor charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance. His charges were read to him during an initial appearance at the Natrona County Circuit Court on July 21, 2020.

An affidavit of probable cause filed with the court says that Northrop was contacted after a witness reported suspicious behavior at a Natrona County campground on Prairie Lane just after 3:00 am on Tuesday. Reporting parties said they had heard loud banging coming from inside a passenger vehicle that was parked in an RV space at the campground.

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Deputies with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and made contact with the lone occupant of the vehicle, who was later identified as Northrop.

The affidavit reports that Northrop had originally given deputies a different name, but then later admitted his name to be “Robert Northrop,” telling the responding deputies that he believed he had warrants out of other states.

Northrop also reportedly said that he did not have a driver’s license.

According to the affidavit, Northrop claimed he had stopped at the campground to sleep on his way from Texas to Montana. He told Sheriff’s deputies that he did not own the vehicle, and that he had received the car from a friend, who in turn was borrowing it from a person that Northrop did not know.

The NCSO also says that Northrop claimed that the Wyoming license plate that was on the vehicle at the time of the contact was stolen. Northrop saying that he had stolen the plate from a vehicle at a gas station near I-25, before arriving in the Casper area.

Court documents say that subsequent searches of the vehicle yielded syringes that contained suspected methamphetamine residue, a container with suspected marijuana residue, and Texas license plates. Deputies also say that a check of the VIN on the vehicle’s dashboard showed the number did not match with the VIN on the vehicle’s door tag. The VIN on the dashboard was checked and showed a matching vehicle that had been reported stolen out of the state of Louisiana.

Northrop further said that the Texas license plates found inside the vehicle had been given to him by a man in Texas, and that he had used the plates on the vehicle before arriving in Wyoming. The suspect also said that he had discarded the plates that were originally on the vehicle.

During an interview with law enforcement, Northrop reported that he had been in telephone contact with the vehicle’s owner, claiming he had told them that he was planning on returning the vehicle after he went to Montana.

The suspect was ultimately arrested and transported to the Natrona County Detention Center, without further reported incident.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.