A Salt Lake City man was arrested in Springville on Sunday morning after reportedly stealing thousands of dollars of electronics from Walmart and trying to stash some of the goods in a Wiggy Wash drive-thru.
David Ryan Michaelis was arrested on suspicion of one second-degree felony of retail theft, along with three misdemeanors of assault, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance schedule/analogue.
Officers responded around 5 a.m. to a report of a man pushing a retail cart down a street and sidewalk away from the retail store area, police records state. The cart was reportedly full of boxes stacked taller than the man’s height.
Officers made contact with the suspect near the Wiggy Wash on 1662 W. 500 South in Springville.
The complainant reportedly told police that he saw Michaelis pushing the cart and entering the the drive-thru portion of the Wiggy Wash, which is closed Sundays. The suspect then later reappeared still pushing the cart but missing multiple boxes, according to the statement. Officers confirmed tracks in the snow that clearly showed the cart’s path.
Officers confronted Michaelis, advised him of his Miranda Rights and showed him the merchandise hidden inside the drive-thru. Michaelis reportedly stated that when he walked into the drive-thru, the items were already there. He also “emphatically told (officers) that he had not stolen the high-end electronic merchandise located in the Wiggy Wash drive-thru” but told officers that he had stolen items from Walmart in his backpack, according to the report.
Prior to the arrest, officers asked the suspect if he was in possession of anything illegal, and Michaelis reportedly stated he had paraphernalia on him. Officers reportedly found methamphetamine and two pipes in Michaelis’ pockets.
Walmart was contacted and retrieved their merchandise. The total estimated value of all items recovered as stolen exceeded $5,000, according to the police report. Walmart is compiling a mock receipt of all items stolen and the cost of the shopping cart to give an accurate total.
The police report did not state the circumstances involving Michaelis’ probable misdemeanor charge of assault.