Lehi officials took an Orem man into custody Friday after they say he pointed a stolen shotgun at a woman in a parking lot.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, officers with the Lehi Police Department were contacted on Thursday regarding a stolen Mossberg 500 shotgun that had been taken from the homeowner’s residence.
A couple of days before the gun was reported missing, a woman had called police to notify them that a man had pointed a shotgun at her earlier in the week.
The woman told police she believed it was out of retaliation as she had called the police a week prior on the man, identified as 19-year-old Tristan Omar Searle, and his friends, who she believed had drugs in the motor home property they live in, according to arrest documents.
She said she was “scared to death” when the incident occurred, running to her car and calling the homeowner to check his guns. At that time, the homeowner noticed his Mossberg 500 shotgun had been stolen out of his shop.
The homeowner then called Searle’s probation officer with Utah Adult Probation and Parole, notifying them of the encounter and confirming that Searle was not allowed back at the property.
Authorities contacted Searle by phone, who told police his name was “Jake Smith” and would not agree to meet with police, according to the probable cause affidavit. When they were unable to organize a time to meet with him, police contacted Searle’s probation officer, requesting that he locate the suspect.
The probation officer told police he had successfully made contact with Searle but that he had not given the officer his location. The probation officer said Searle was scared, but that he would set up a time for authorities to meet with Searle for an interview.
Around noon on Friday, officials with the Springville Police Department contacted Lehi officers to notify them that Searle was in custody. Lehi authorities arrived on scene and placed Searle under arrest.
Searle allegedly agreed to speak with police, telling them that he gave them a fake name because he was scared of going back to prison. According to arrest documents, Searle also allegedly told police he broke into the homeowner’s shop and took the Mossberg 500 shotgun for protection, adding that his friends had robbed his motorhome.
Searle said he was unaware of where the shotgun was at that time but told authorities he never pointed the shotgun at a woman, claiming it was another person he knew but that the woman must have gotten confused because the two men look alike.
The probation officer told authorities the two men, Searle and the man he stated pointed the gun at the woman, don’t look anything alike.
Police discovered that Searle had given the gun to another woman days before his arrest, and the shotgun was seized by officers with the Provo City Police Department when the woman was arrested at a Maverick on Thursday. The shotgun listed as evidence in Provo was identified as a Sears .20, not a Mossberg.
The homeowner was contacted once more, and after checking his safe, told police both a Mossberg and a Sears .20 were missing. Searle said he believed another man had the Mossberg.
While being booked into the Utah County Jail, Searle allegedly admitted to police he had hidden controlled substances in a delicate area of his body, according to the probable cause statement. During a search of his person, officials also found drug paraphernalia in his wallet.
Searle was arrested under the suspicion of two second-degree felony charges for theft of a firearm, third-degree felony burglary, third-degree felony threat of aggravated assault with show of force, class A misdemeanor giving false person identity to peace officers, class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is currently being held on $15,020 bail.