Inset: William Reeves in circuit court on 7/31/23. Background: A police car on April 4, 2023. (Gregory Hirst, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man is facing a felony theft charge after police say he dug his car out of the snow from the lot of a repair shop, skipping out on a $3,154.57 repair bill.

William Reeves, 25, appeared by video in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday, July 31. He is presumed innocent until proven or pleading guilty.

Police were contacted by the owner of Meineke Car Care on April 6 after he observed that Reeves’s Jeep Renegade had been dug out of the deep snow, according to the Casper police officer’s report. The shop had completed repairs and was waiting on payment — $2,110 in parts and $1,044 in labor.

At closing time on April 5, Reeves’s Jeep was safely parked in the store’s parking lot, the owner said.

The shop owner told the officer that he was unable to reach Reeves and that Reeves was not permitted to take the car, according to the affidavit. The employee also said he still possessed the keys given to him by Reeves.

Over the course of that week, Casper saw some of the snowiest conditions the city has ever seen. The National Weather Service announced that April 3 set the city’s one-day record for accumulation with 26.7 inches. Additionally, April 3–4 set the two-day record for accumulation with a total of 37.4 inches.

The affidavit does not include a theory as to how Reeves allegedly freed his vehicle from the snow.

The officer visited Reeves’s listed address but was informed he no longer resided there. According to the affidavit, he was later able to reach Reeves through the phone and was told that he did have the vehicle and was going to call the repair shop as soon as the officer hung up.

The officer followed up with the store employee on the phone twice more on April 10 and May 2, and was told both times that Reeves had failed to call regarding payment.

Based on the belief that Reeves took the vehicle from Meineke without permission and never contacted the shop regarding payment, police determined that Reeves showed a “clear intent to deprive the business of both parts and labor costs for services requested by him.”

Now Reeves is facing a grand theft charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen set Reeves’s bond at $2,000 cash or surety bond.