Fair

45°F

Powell, WY

Fair
Wind: ESE at 10 mph

Arrest made in Powell Drug break-in

A 22-year-old Powell man has been charged in connection with a break-in at Powell Drug earlier this month.

Christian T. Hallman was arrested Tuesday night and charged with felony counts of burglary and property destruction.

An affidavit of probable cause filed in support of the charges alleges that Hallman confessed the burglary to Powell police and that his sweatshirt and shoe prints were found at the scene.

Powell Drug’s alarm was tripped at 4:20 a.m. on Jan. 4. Responding officers, arriving soon after the initial alarm, found that the downtown drug store’s front door had been broken from the inside by an antique stove, wrote Officer Michael Hall in the affidavit. The intruder apparently gained access to the building from air ducts on the roof, the document says.

Police found a Daytona Beach, Fla., sweatshirt lying next to the opened duct and later posted pictures of it around Powell.

Though responding officers saw no one in or around the building, police did stop a vehicle near Powell Drug. Hallman was in that vehicle and was spoken to by police, Hall wrote, but officers apparently found no reason to detain him.

However, on Jan. 8, a police informant told authorities they’d heard from Hallman’s girlfriend’s sister that he had broken into the drug store, says Hall’s affidavit. In a Monday interview with Hall, the sister reportedly said she owned the sweatshirt found at the scene, but had lent it to her sister (Hallman’s girlfriend) and had seen Hallman wearing it.

On Tuesday night, police interviewed Hallman. He initially denied any involvement with the break-in, but became nervous when asked to show the bottom of his shoes, Hall wrote.

The imprint appeared very similar to the prints found on the roof of Powell Drug, Hall said, and Hallman was placed under arrest.

While in custody at the Powell police station, Hallman admitted to having scoped out Powell Drug on two prior occasions, the affidavit said. A rock was thrown through the store’s back door on Dec. 27, but the affidavit does not specifically mention that incident.

“Hallman said he is addicted to prescription pills,” wrote Officer Hall. Hallman told police that, on the morning of Jan. 4, he was drunk and badly needing pills and broke into Powell Drug looking for medication, the affidavit says.

However, the store’s audible alarm went off when he exited the duct work and, finding the store’s rear doors locked, he panicked, broke out the front door and fled, says the affidavit. It appeared nothing was stolen.

At his initial appearance in Circuit Court on Wednesday, Hallman was appointed a public defender to represent him.

Citing “a little bit of a criminal history in Wyoming,” some out-of-state ties and an active Washington state warrant apparently related to a conviction for driving with a suspended license, Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt asked for Hallman’s bail to be set at $25,000 cash. Hallman didn’t object when given the opportunity to speak.

“Seems appropriate to me as well,” said Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters, accepting Blatt’s request.

Hallman said he’s lived in Park County nearly all of his life and currently is unemployed.

A preliminary hearing, to determine if there’s enough evidence for the case to go to trial, is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 26.

In a Wednesday news release, Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said there’s an ongoing investigation to identify others who may have been involved with the break-in.

The chief added that Powell police and agencies across the region have seen a sharp increase in prescription drug abuse over the past several years.

“This case is another reminder of the prescription drug problem in and around our communities,” he said.

Often prescription narcotics are stolen from people with valid prescriptions by family members or acquaintances, he said.

Eckerdt asked residents to take extra precautions to protect their prescriptions and discard unused or expired medications, noting that Powell police can accept and destroy those materials.

Share this post on:

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

7 comments

  • posted by jason pingel

    January 28, 2012 7:12 am

    I'm going to post this with the fact that I have battled with addiction my entire life(more or less). Saying he did it because he is addicted to pills is a complete and utter cop-out. I've been addicted to numerous substances in my life and have never found it necessary to break in to a business, let alone a pharmacy, to feed my addiction. He must be held accountable for his actions whether he is a addict or not. Also this young man needs tough love and treatment, not a hug and positive (constructive) criticism. I agree, usually jail time does not help the plea for sobriety, however this doesn't mean he should get a slap on the wrist either. I strongly believe that treatment is the only option when addiction is involved.
    Oh and if the cops did there job so freaking well, why the hell did they let him go to begin with (the article said he was drunk, the officers couldn't tell that something strange was going on pulling him over near the scene of a robbery). Why does this town need to wait till it is in complete crisis before it acknowledges the problem. Young people around here are giving up there entire lives to chase a high, and instead of helping them you send them off to jail and prison, to ensure that the cycle repeats.

  • posted by Sarah

    January 27, 2012 2:13 pm

    It is such a shame that people are so quick to judge in this town. Some people really do just need help that they can not get on their own. and yes, some people do need serious jail time-and I do not think this is the case for Chris. Also, it is very important for those individuals in the town that are judging chris to step back and look at their own lives. there is a VERY good chance there someone in their family who needs help with an addiction who is not asking for it and that is not getting the help they need. I know these people would not want to send their children, neices, nephews, husbands,wives, mothers, fathers etc away to prison when all they really need is a hug and some positive, constructive, criticism to get their lives back on track.

  • posted by Shelly Neff

    January 22, 2012 10:59 am

    I agree it should have been reported as a tip now she has a mark on her..
    Also this is an example of prescription drug abuse that is screaming for an investigation where and how he got addicted to them in the first place. Where they overly prescribed or has he been getting them from someone else. I am sorry he flet he needed them so badly to resort to stealing from Powell Drug but maybe this is a blessing in disguise. He has the opportunity to get some help he badly needs and deserves. He is not lazy bum or anything else. Just ill and needs some assistance in getting cleaned up and on the right path.
    I wish him good luck in life and Yes, he needs to be held accountable for his mistakes. He will be a better person for this.... him getting caught. good work Powell PD for a change.

  • posted by CJ

    January 20, 2012 11:12 am

    Jeff Jones: Just to clarify, the informant and sister are two different people.

  • posted by Jeff Jones

    January 20, 2012 7:31 am

    Was it really necessary to tell everyone who your informant was? I am sure Hallman's girlfriend's sister appreciated that. While you didn't use her name, you clearly said too much. Not smart.

  • posted by Brody

    January 19, 2012 3:09 pm

    He is seasonally laid off. Not just a lazy bum who doesn't work.

  • posted by clipstein

    January 19, 2012 3:07 pm

    Wow nice to see activity by the police in all aspects.
    thank you

Leave a comment

The Powell Tribune reserves the right to remove inappropriate comments.
Fields marked (*) are required.

Subscribe

Get all the latest Powell news by subscribing to the Powell Tribune today!

Click here to find out more!

E-Edition

Our paper can be delivered right to your e-mail inbox with a subscription to the Powell Tribune!

Find out more here!

Stay Connected

Keep up with Powell news by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Go to top