FAIRBANKS—A man who allegedly tried to steal a Toyo stove from a Fairbanks home Tuesday morning has been charged with felony first-degree burglary. 

Richard Blane Muhlethaler Jr, 51, of Fairbanks, told Alaska State Troopers he tried to steal the stove to finance his girlfriend’s heroin habit, according to charging documents.

The homeowner called troopers about 11 a.m. and said he arrived home to find his door kicked in and a man trying to steal his Toyo. When confronted, the man left the stove and offered to pay for the door, according to the homeowner. 

The homeowner gave troopers a partial license plate number and described the would-be thief’s vehicle as an older model silver Chevrolet Blazer. The homeowner also told troopers there was fuel spilled on his floor because the man didn’t turn the fuel off before he tried to steal the stove.

DMV records revealed Muhlethaler was the owner of the only Chevrolet Blazer with Alaska plates matching the numbers supplied by the homeowner. After viewing a photo lineup, the homeowner told troopers he was “90 percent to 95 percent sure” Muhlethaler was the man who broke into his home.

Troopers found Muhlethaler at his home and the silver Blazer parked in the driveway.  Muhlethaler smelled of fuel oil, as did the Blazer, according to charging documents. 

Muhlethaler waived his Miranda rights and admitted to trying to steal the stove, according to charging documents.

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: 


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