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Teens accused of theft, ‘car hopping’ in Cape

By Staff | Jun 17, 2009

Two Cape Coral teens have been arrested and charged with two counts each of grand theft in connection with two vehicle burglaries that occurred May 8.
Matthew William Muchler, 17, of 221 N.E. 20th Terrace, and Jacob Hoyt Smith, 16, of 2318 N.E. 17th St., are accused of stealing $900 in cash and electronics.
According to police reports, the teens were “car hopping” on the night of the burglaries, stealing a wallet from a 2000 Lexus and a radar detector and iPod Nano from a 2006 Toyota truck.
The wallet contained gift cards, credit cards and more than $300 in cash. The iPod Nano is valued at $150. The estimated cost of the radar detector was not given.
According to reports, Muchler’s father returned the stolen wallet to the victim’s boyfriend May 29. All contents of the wallet were there, minus $200 in cash.
Cape detectives questioned the father Wednesday at his home, where he told investigators he discovered the wallet in Muchler’s room. Reports state that he gave his son 10 days to return the wallet. After Muchler failed to do so, he returned the wallet himself.
On Thursday, detectives met with Mulcher at his home. Matthew reportedly told detectives he and Smith had broken into “several cars,” including some he was unable to enter. Police took Mulcher into custody.
Smith was arrested Monday at home.
While at the Cape police department, Mulcher declined to give a statement as to his involvement, according to reports. Smith provided a taped sworn statement confessing to the “car hopping.”
Both were transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center and later released.