Bond reduced for man accused of impersonating Homeland Security officer in Walmart theft

Bond reduced for man accused of impersonating Homeland Security officer in Walmart theft

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TWIN FALLS — A man who police say impersonated a Homeland Security officer while stealing from Walmart had his $200,000 bond reduced.

Thomas Wildman, 38, faces charges of impersonating officers, burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance related to the August incident.

Wildman appeared via video feed from the Twin Falls County Jail on Sept. 27. His attorney, Tim Williams, was in the courtroom before Magistrate Judge Benjamin Harmer at the Twin Falls County Judicial Annex.

Along with Aaron Altes, 44, Wildman went to the Walmart on Cheney Drive on the evening of Aug. 29. Both were dressed in black and wearing badges on lanyards around their necks, according to court documents. Wildman also carried a pistol in a holster.

They claimed to be Homeland Security officers and CIA and did not cooperate with Walmart loss prevention officers and Twin Falls police prior to their arrest, court documents say.

In court, Williams argued that the $200,000 bond was unreasonable. He cited Wildman’s status as an honorably discharged veteran with disabilities requiring treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Extensive family ties in Idaho and the Twin Falls area were other reasons given by Williams for the reduction in bond.

“While I’m cognizant of the seriousness of the charges, that amount is much more excessive than necessary,” Williams said.

He asked that bond be reduced to $50,000.

Twin Falls Deputy Prosecutor Jethelyn Harrington responded that Wildman threatened to shoot a Walmart employee and did not comply with law enforcement. She listed his prior convictions, including a fugitive warrant from Ada County, petit theft, misdemeanors and probation violations.

“We believe this defendant will not cooperate with law enforcement,” Harrington said. “We do consider him to be a threat to the community.”

Williams again stated that, despite Wildman’s history, a $200,000 bond was not deserved.

“I’m especially concerned regarding the threats made against the Walmart employee,” Harmer said from the bench.

The judge said he was concerned because Wildman had to be shot with a stun gun during his arrest, had methamphetamine on him at the time and has a history of failing to appear for court hearings.

Harmer reduced Wildman’s bond to $150,000, stating, “That’s as far as I’m willing to go today.”

Wildman asked to speak on his own behalf, but was cautioned against it.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday. He remains in custody at the Twin Falls County Jail.


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