A Billings man who recently discovered his tools stolen from outside his home beat the thief to the pawn shop and was there when the man arrived to sell the goods, prosecutors allege.
Patrick Daniel Keller, 29, faces one count of felony theft and another count of unsworn falsification to authorities, a misdemeanor.
Keller made an initial appearance in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Monday. Justice of the Peace David Carter set bond at $2,500 and ordered no contact with Cash King Pawn.
Keller brought a Honda EU 2000 generator and a Hitli rotor hammer drill to Daddy O’s Pawn, 1116 Central Ave., on Dec. 3, according to charges.
But he got there late, with the owner of the equipment already in the shop and trying to locate the tools that had been stolen from him not long before.
The owner reported to police that he’d been outside with the generator and drill at his home on South 29th Street West around 3 p.m., and had gone inside for about three minutes to grab another tool. When he came out, he saw the tools missing and a man driving away in a tan Chevy passenger car.
The owner first tried locating his tools at First National Pawn but was unsuccessful, charges state. Daddy O’s Pawn was his next stop.
Keller had previously been barred from trading with Daddy O’s Pawn because he’d brought in stolen items in the past, a shop employee told police. When Keller entered on Dec. 3 with the stolen goods, the owner who was present called 911, and Keller left before officers responded.
Police later found Keller at his Miles Avenue home and arrested him. Keller told them he’d pawned the stolen tools at Cash King Pawn, 1441 15th St. W.
The tools were worth a combined $2,500, the owner told police, while Keller pawned them for $425. Police returned the tools to the owner.