Police arrested an Orem teenager after he allegedly pawned or sold more than $23,000 worth of camera equipment he had rented from two different camera shops in Orem.
Maxwell Flygare, 18, was booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of theft by deception and theft by rental agreement, both third-degree felonies, as well as theft by receiving stolen property, a class B misdemeanor.
The teenager was also arrested earlier in August for theft by rental agreement and tampering with a witness, both third-degree felonies.
On Aug. 13, Flygare reportedly rented $12,000 worth of camera gear from Red Finch Rental in Orem and did not return the equipment on the agreed date, according to a police report.
The teenager allegedly told the store owners that he had lost the equipment on a hiking trail in Park City. He said a friend he had asked to hold the equipment had accidentally dropped all the gear off a steep trail.
Flygare told the owners he spent hours trying to locate and recover it, reports state.
However, investigators with the Orem Police Department located the allegedly lost equipment at four different pawn shops in Utah and Salt Lake Counties.
“For pawning the $12,000 worth of equipment, Maxwell received $2,415 in total, from the pawn shops,” police reported. “He pawned some of the equipment the same day it was rented and the rest he pawned the next day.”
Investigators contacted each pawn shop and placed a hold on the equipment.
Last July, Flygare also allegedly committed the same crime at Allen’s Camera in Orem, renting nearly $11,433 worth of camera equipment and not returning it, according to police reports.
The shop owner had discovered one of the missing cameras had been posted and sold on eBay. During the police investigation, officers determined Flygare had a friend, sell the items online under false pretenses, with the store serial numbers attached to the equipment.
“Maxwell had pawned the rest of the equipment which he claimed to had destroyed,” the report continued. “It was too late to recover some of it as the pawn shop had already gotten rid of it.”
The teenager also tried to work out a deal with the manager of Allen’s Camera though the manager told Flygare not to return to the store, police reported.
Another camera shop in American Fork told police Flygare entered their shop after dying his hair black to try and rent equipment on Monday.
Employees had recognized the teenager after hearing about the other thefts and refused to rent equipment to him.
“He has already established his Modus Operandi in previous cases,” the police report stated. “Maxwell’s crimes are affecting these businesses greatly due to loss of equipment and revenue.”
Flygare was arrested in Cedar Hills and had two camera cases labeled “Red Finch Rental” along with other rented equipment. He is being held at $10,000 bail.