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Gillette crime-spree suspect found competent to proceed

GILLETTE (WNE) — A man accused of going on a crime spree throughout Gillette in which he allegedly stole several pickup trucks, drove into multiple buildings and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase has been found competent to proceed in court.

Cody K. Fuger, 40, has been charged with 16 counts, including five felonies, ranging from destruction of property, theft, fleeing law enforcement and meth possession.

District Judge Stuart S. Healy III found him competent to proceed in court at an Oct. 12 review hearing, based on the findings of a Wyoming State Hospital evaluation, according to court documents.

Fuger was arrested the afternoon of Aug. 14 after being identified as a suspect in a number of crimes in the span of about 40 hours.

At about 3:30 a.m. Aug. 13, the alarm at Riddle’s Jewelry went off. When officers arrived, they saw that the wall next to the front door had been rammed, and a cargo carrier was laying on the ground in front of the wall, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

A display case had been knocked over and shattered, and the wall that had been rammed had moved 2 inches. The estimated damage in the jewelry store was $7000.

Video footage showed a silver Chevy Tahoe pull up to the building. The driver carefully aligned the rear of the SUV to the front of the building, then accelerated in reverse, hitting the building. The vehicle then left the area and headed south.

The Tahoe was found the next day, and officers contacted the owner, who said Fuger had been driving it the past few days and that he was the only one she knew of who was in it during the last 48 hours, according to court documents.

At about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 13, a man in a work truck rammed the side of the Sinclair gas station on Dove Road. A trailer had been attached to the truck but became detached during the crash. The man then went into the store and took a Gatorade without paying. Police watched surveillance footage and identified the suspect as Fuger. Damage to the building is estimated at $10,000, according to court documents.

He then took off north on Highway 59. A deputy who was stopped at Garner Lake Road and Boxelder Road saw the truck turn west onto Boxelder Road, traveling in the eastbound lanes while making the turn.

The deputy began following the truck, which turned south onto Garner Lake Road. The deputy tried to perform a traffic stop, but Fuger accelerated. A pursuit ensued, with Fuger and the deputy traveling close to 90 mph in a 55 mph zone. The truck swerved across the entire roadway, driving into the opposite lanes and swerving between vehicles, according to court documents.

Fuger then went north on Highway 59, hitting 90 mph in a 45 mph zone and nearly hitting another vehicle. He appeared to be tailgating other vehicles and trying to push them off of the road, according to court documents.

Due to the suspect’s unsafe driving conditions, the pursuit was called off. At this point, the truck turned west onto Lakeway Road well above the 30 mph speed limit.

Police learned that the truck, which belonged to Wyoming Corporate Cleaners, had been stolen by Fuger, according to court documents.

At about 9 p.m. Aug. 13, officers were called out to Schoonover Street, not too far from the Sinclair. A camper had been turned over on its side, and a metal shed had been dislodged from its mountings. The shed also had a hole punched into the side. The estimated damage to the property was $15,000, according to court documents.

A 2007 Chevy truck, valued at $25,000, also was missing from the property. Video footage showed Fuger as he got into the truck and drove off, ramming the gate in the process.

At 6:15 a.m. Aug. 14, the Sheriff’s Office received a call about a theft at Blackhawk Crane and Rigging, in the 1800 block of Schoonover Street. Someone had left scrap aluminum in the business’s yard. Investigation revealed the aluminum had come from junk vehicles belonging to Hibbs Autobody’s Wrecking Yard, which was next door.

In addition to the aluminum, there were five radiators, two vehicle hoods, a pickup tailgate, a car door frame and other pieces of equipment that had been removed from junk vehicles. The owner of the junkyard said this all came from his property, and believed the combined value was less than $50.

More than three hours later, shortly before 10 a.m., a woman reported a suspicious person, matching Fuger’s description, had visited her home on Rocky Point Drive. When she answered her door, Fuger said he was searching for his dog. He was shirtless and asked the woman if she had a shirt he could wear. She did not, and he left, heading north, according to court documents.

Deputies searched the area for two hours but could not find Fuger. However, they found the stolen truck just down the road from the woman’s home.

They also searched the woman’s camper and shop at her request, and it appeared that Fuger had stayed in the camper overnight, sleeping in the bed and using the toilet. He also apparently opened a bag of jerky that was in the camper and ate some of it.

An internet search revealed the weather conditions in Gillette that night were not life threatening and would not have required Fuger to seek shelter in the camper, according to court documents.

At about 4 p.m. that day, the Gillette Police Department got a report that Fuger was at East Side Liquors, driving a 1987 Chevy pickup that had been stolen from a home just three doors down from the camper he’d slept in. The truck’s owner said he was out of town and that the pickup had been parked in his shop.

A deputy pulled Fuger over, and Fuger got out and tried to run away. Police officers and deputies chased him and caught him after a short run. He was drunk and had methamphetamine, according to court documents.

In total, Fuger caused $32,000 in combined damage to the gas station, jewelry store and the Schoonover Street property, according to court documents.

The Police Department charged Fuger with attempted burglary and felony destruction of property for the Riddle’s incident. For driving into the Sinclair and taking a Gatorade, he was charged with hit and run and larceny. And he was charged with felony destruction of property, theft of a vehicle and criminal entry for causing $15,000 in damage to the property on Schoonover Street and stealing the truck, according to court documents.

The Sheriff’s Office charged Fuger with felony theft for stealing the 1987 Chevy, burglary for entering the camper and for depriving her “the use and enjoyment of her jerky,” and misdemeanor theft for taking the scrap aluminum. He also was charged with eluding and reckless driving for the high speed chase on Garner Lake Road, according to court documents.

Fuger had been arrested in Butte County, South Dakota, on July 16 for felony grand theft. On July 23, he was arrested by Gillette police for burglary. Three days later, he was charged with felony credit card fraud.

In the Gillette case, he’s accused of breaking into a vehicle at Rocky Mountain Discount Sports and stealing more than $500 worth of tools and other items, along with charging almost $2000 to a company credit card that he allegedly stole from a co-worker.

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