Stolen car smashes into and through Riverton Walmart early Saturday; juvenile male arrested

The aftermath inside Walmart -- a big mess. The RPD said the car ended up three-quarters of the way inside the store before it stopped. (cell phone photo from witness-click on photo for full size image)

Early this morning (Jan. 21) at approximately 4:17 a.m. a juvenile male drove a stolen vehicle through the front doors and into the Riverton Walmart Store, according to Riverton Police Department Captain C. T. Smith. According to the police report, the juvenile fled the scene and was apprehended outside of the store and was reportedly found to be drunk.

According to a report released by Captain Smith, “the RPD responded on a call of a vehicle that had driven through the front of the Walmart Store located at 1733 N Federal Boulevard in Riverton. Callers told the police department that the car had driven through the front of the store, a teenaged male exited the car and was walking around the store, refusing to talk to people and was possibly looking for a way out of the store. Officers arrived in the area and were advised by a witness that the male was walking south from the Garden Center. Officers saw that the suspect was trying to flee the area on foot and he was taken into custody by police.”
Smith said that upon further investigation, the RPD learned that the suspect had stolen a Gray 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt from the College Hill Apartment’s just west of Central Wyoming College just moments before.  Smith said the owner of the vehicle had started the car to let it warm up and left it unlocked and unattended while he returned to his apartment. When the man returned to the  parking lot, he found the vehicle missing.

The stolen vehicle was driven down a aisle and finally stopped at the Electronics Department, smashing store displays and scattering merchandise along the way.

The suspect had driven into the parking lot of Walmart off of Webbwood Drive, made an abrupt turn at the south entrance doors and drove into and through the store. The vehicle came to rest near the electronics section, over 280 feet from the entrance. The suspect’s blood alcohol content was found to be over twice the legal limit, Smith said. Medical personnel responded and assessed the suspect as well as checked for injuries of patrons and employees of Walmart. Smith said it was fortunate that there were no injuries reported as a result of the actions of the juvenile.

Officers estimated the damage at the store to be up to $100,000. The suspect, who has an Ethete address, is being held at the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Jail in Casper on three Felonies and four Misdemeanor charges which include felony charges of one count of Vehicle Theft and two counts of Damaging Property. The misdemeanor charges include one count each of Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Endangerment, Hit and Run and Reckless Driving.

County 10 News Photos by Jake Nash


Workers begin repairs on the south entrance to Walmart.










The south doors at the Riverton Walmart are closed to the public today as workers begin to repair damage from a car being driven into the store early Saturday.











Plywood ready to be trimmed and installed to replace broken glass doors at the Riverton Walmart south entrance.











Looking from inside the store out the south entrance where a car driven by a juvenile male crashed through early Saturday morning.