Suspect faces new charges
DA: Alleged car thief tampered with evidence
A 39-year-old Craig man who allegedly took auto parts off two cars — stealing one in the process — will be advised on new charges next week involving the burial and disposal of the items.
Roger Wille Jr. is due to appear Tuesday before Moffat County Court Judge Mary Lynne James to hear the District Attorney’s two-count complaint of tampering with physical evidence and destruction, a class-six felony.
If convicted, Wille could face between one to two years in state prison, or six months to four years if mitigating or aggravating circumstances are found. Fines between $1,000 and $100,000 are also possible.
The charges stem from a Nov. 20 tip called in to Moffat County Crime Stoppers, which led Craig police and the Colorado State Patrol to recover stolen car parts dumped on Cedar Mountain from a 1989 Jeep Wagoneer, and buried behind a storage shed on First Street.
Parts from the stripped Jeep found protruding from the ground led investigators to return with shovels and a backhoe.
“The dash board led us to the place to start digging,” said Bill Leonard, administrative sergeant for the Craig Police Department, who worked the case along with Marty Smith, a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol.
Interior and exterior parts were found buried two to three feet deep, including the Jeep’s hood and parts of a seat, Leonard said.
Meanwhile, Wille is charged separately with first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, a class-four felony, two counts of class-four felony theft by receiving, and class-four theft.
His arraignment on those charges is scheduled for Jan. 27 in District Court.
A 1988 Corvette in July was found stripped of its engine, transmission, and two wheels among other parts in the 300 block of Breeze Street. The stripped Jeep Wagoneer was found Sept. 20 abandoned in a field north of Craig near Moffat County Road 103, according to police.
The Jeep was missing 11 days, according to court documents.
Acting on another tip, a Colorado State Patrol trooper and Craig police eventually found parts missing from the 1988 Corvette inside a 1978 model parked in a storage lot at Craig’s Northwest Pawn.
The 1978 Corvette, owned by Wille, was pawned for $1,000, according to court documents.
A search warrant later executed allegedly turned up parts from both the stolen Jeep and the 1988 Corvette in Wille’s garage.
Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at email@example.com.
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