Virginian photograph recovered, returned
By Linsay Wood, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
October 27, 2012
The framed photograph of two men dressed as bandoleros stolen from the Virginian Saloon last week was recovered early Thursday morning.
The three suspects returned to the bar Wednesday night to sing karaoke. Bar staff who had reviewed surveillance tapes of a white man with short hair snatching the photo from the wall thought one of the men looked like the subject on the tape. He appeared to be wearing the same jacket recorded on the security cameras at 12:17 a.m. Oct. 19, Virginian Operations Manager Jim Triplett said.
Staff notified police who responded and asked to speak with four men outside the saloon, Jackson Police Department Lt. Cole Nethercott said. Upon questioning, one man who was not involved was dismissed. The others confessed to taking the photo, saying it was a “dumb, drunk idea” and offered to return it, Nethercott said.
The three men, all Jackson residents, were given a trespass notice to stay off Virginian premises. Justin Butler, 22, admitted to stealing the photograph and was cited for misdemeanor larceny, Nethercott said.
Police recovered the photograph from Butler’s residence and returned it to the Virginian.
The 2-by-3-foot photograph, which has hung for more than 30 years at the saloon, was a keepsake of the Napierskie family, owners of the Virginian since it was built in 1965. The men in the photograph were hunting buddies of general manager Mike Kraft and Glenn Napierskie, who built the Virginian.
“We were really pleased,” Triplett said of the photograph’s safe return. “It came back in one week.”