Jason Max Braham (Gregory Hirst, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Mills resident on felony probation for a series of smash-and-grab burglaries in summer 2022 is now charged with burglarizing 14 storage units at a facility in Casper.

Jason Max Braham, 32, met with Casper police officers at his job on Aug. 31, 2023, to discuss their investigation into the burglarized units. 

He was then arrested and charged on Sept. 1 with 14 counts of burglary. Judge Michael Patchen granted the state’s request to set a $100,000 cash or surety bond, given the threat to property in the community and Braham’s criminal history.

Braham was sentenced this April after pleading guilty to four counts of auto burglary and a count of grand theft. At the end of the contested hearing before District Court Judge Dan Forgey, a seven- to 10-year suspended sentence was rendered.

Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson had asked for the imposed sentence, noting Braham’s similar convictions over a decade ago in Utah.  

Nelson said that some of the victims felt a lingering unease and ongoing concerns about identity theft, and some had lost sentimental items.

Defense and state counsel agreed that Braham had done well on bond and maintained employment during the case. The presentence investigators found that Braham “may” be suitable for probation, Nelson said.

Judge Forgey ultimately agreed to the suspended sentence, saying, “The victim impact statements weigh on my mind, and I hope Mr. Braham takes those to heart.”

Braham was also ordered to pay $6,549.62 in restitution to the victims and to lead a worthy and law-abiding life.

On Aug. 7, 2023, a Casper police officer responded to a storage unit off East Yellowstone Highway for a reported burglary.

According to the affidavit, a man reported that the lock had been cut on his storage unit. Among the items missing from within were 30–40 unopened boxes of Tops NFL 1990 football cards and two large totes with video games and DVDs inside. 

The man said the cards were worth about $2,000.

The maintenance man reported that 18 locks had been cut on various storage units.  

The manager provided police with surveillance video footage from between July 30 and Aug. 6, saying she could identify Braham using bolt cutters in some of the videos.

She said Braham had purchased one of the units at a default auction. She clarified later that Braham only had permission to access that one unit.

Braham is considered innocent until proven guilty in the storage unit case.

The investigator described reviewing the footage, ultimately determining that the suspect, identified as Braham, had broken into 14 units. In general, the investigator describes the suspect pulling up to various units, cutting the lock, entering the unit and leaving a few minutes later, often empty-handed. 

In three instances, items fall out of the unit as soon as the door is opened, the investigator noted.

In one instance, Braham looks directly at the camera and then squares his back to it before allegedly using the bolt cutters.

Some of the items seen taken by the suspect and put into his dark gray Honda SUV were a large black case, an item in a box, a grey storage tote, a cabinet and a large green storage trunk. 

The green trunk’s owner later told police it had contained $10,000 in silver coins. The affidavit indicates that investigators were still contacting the owners of the burgled units to inventory stolen property.

The NFL playing cards were recovered at Braham’s home in Mills, the affidavit said.