Thomas Branstetter Pleads Not Guilty To Breaking Into Thrift Store
A dress wearing Mills man accused of breaking into a thrift store just after the Christmas Holiday, has entered a plea in court.
Fifty-one year old Thomas Branstetter has pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary, one count of property destruction, one count of touching another person in a rude, angry or insolent manner and one charge of possession of a controlled substance methamphetamine.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in late December, officers were called to the Rescued Treasures Thrift Store on the 300 block of North Durbin Street.
At first Branstetter was inside a box truck, then he used a metal rod to break a window and enter the thrift store.
He was trying on women’s clothing and applying makeup when he realized he left his cell phone in the box truck, according to the affidavit.
Later that morning an employee arrived at the store, saw items near the building’s entrance that seemed out of place, and noticed a light on in the bathroom and movement inside.
The employee yelled she was going to call police, but Branstetter confronted her.
He knocked the phone from her hand, pushed her against a wall, and held a fire extinguisher above her head as if he were about to hit her and then fled the building.
Police caught up to Branstetter who was carrying a purse, and wearing a pink dress and black coat but no shoes.
According to a police affidavit, it was also determined that Branstetter was high on meth at the time, and he was walking around the city looking for shelter, when the weather turned cold.
He is being hold on $15,000 bond awaiting trial, and could face up to 10 years in prison on the burglary and property destruction charges if convicted.
Prosecutors noted that Branstetter had served time in prison, for an aggravated assault and kidnapping conviction.