On January 29, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., Missoula Police Department Officers responded to Benton Avenue for a report of a stolen vehicle. The complainant had reported that his 2012 black Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie diesel pickup truck was parked outside his residence approximately three hours prior and now was gone. The complainant said the vehicle was unlocked, had the keys inside, and did not contain any firearms. MPD Detective Lieutenant Eddie McLean explains.

“Approximately six hours later, an officer observed that vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 3555 Mullan Road,” McLean said. “He ran the plate and confirmed that was the stolen truck. A male was in the driver’s seat and he appeared to be sleeping. Officers blew their sirens and were able to wake up the driver who was subsequently identified as 18-year-old Skyler Thonney-Wahl.”

Officers responded and gave several verbal commands to Thonney-Wahl, however he did not respond. Officers continued to give commands and saw him reaching within the vehicle. After further commands, Thonney-Wahl did comply, was removed, and placed under arrest.

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“He was the only occupant in the vehicle at the time,” McLean said. “During the search of the truck and Thonney-Wahl’s property, a shotgun was located with the stock cut off it and several pills were in his possession that were a controlled substance, but not prescribed to Thonney-Wahl. Officers had probable cause to arrest him for felony theft and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.”

Thonney-Wahl consented to a search of his backpack and within the backpack, 74 white Tramadol pills were found and 25 shotgun shells. Thonney-Wahl said the pills were his, but he did not have a prescription.

Thonney-Wahl said when he attempted to move the driver’s seat, he felt a handgun under the seat. The handgun’s serial number was run with dispatch and confirmed to be stolen. The owner of the handgun had reported it missing about a week earlier from his vehicle at the Camelot Apartments. An officer reviewed video from the theft and was able to identify Thonney-Wahl as the male that had taken the handgun from the vehicle.

According to court documents, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office had been contacted by Thonney-Wahl’s grandmother, who stated Thonney-Wahl had been plotting to kill people and that she was scared he would hurt people. She also advised that she observed Thonney-Wahl with a shotgun, handgun, knives and ammunition.

Thonney-Wahl is currently being charged with felony theft, felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and misdemeanor theft. He is currently in the Missoula County Detention Facility and his bail was set at $500,000.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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