All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
(Riverton, WY) – 43-year-old Lander man Billy Washburn faces a felony theft (disposing) charge, after reportedly selling bronze that was stolen from bronze foundry in Lander.
Washburn’s preliminary hearing was initially set for November 29, but was continued to December 13.
On November 20, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) was requested to respond to reports of stolen bronze at a recycling service in Riverton, according to Court documents filed on November 21.
The FCSO Sergeant learned that Washburn had reportedly sold 216 pounds of scrap bronze to the recycling service in the amount of $493.20, but among the scraps were two bronze seashells that were believed to be stolen from a bronze foundry in Lander.
Washburn was later detained that same day while attempting to cash the recycling service check at a Riverton bank.
Contact was soon made with the owner of the foundry, Court documents state, who confirmed that the scrapped bronze was indeed stolen from them, and that each seashell was valued at around $4,000 a piece.
The owner then shared that Washburn was a former employee of the business.
Washburn was also arraigned on November 22 for a separate incident, where he was charged with misdemeanor theft (taking) and property destruction/defacement.
Court documents state that on September 2, Washburn was reportedly seen on video surveillance stealing a 7,500 watt generator from a Lander area business after breaking the lock on the cables that were securing it.
The generator was valued at $999.99, but store employees stated that it was a return item and that they had previously agreed to sell it to Washburn for $300 prior to him taking it.
The employee also shared that the lock to the back gate and the lock to the mowers in front had been cut as well, but nothing appeared to be stolen from those areas.
Days later, Court documents state that Washburn was seen at a different business unloading the generator into another vehicle.
Following the November 22 arraignment, a scheduling conference was set for January 8 to determine further sentencing.
Washburn’s preliminary hearing for the stolen bronze will take place on December 13.
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor theft (taking) and property destruction/defacement charges is 6 months imprisonment and a $750 fine.
The maximum punishment for a felony theft (disposing) charge is 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
County 10 will provide updates on Washburn’s case, which can be viewed here.