An 18-year-old man who pawned or sold $23,000 worth of rented camera equipment and told business owners that he had lost the borrowed gear pleaded guilty to theft charges.
Maxwell Flygare, of Orem, accepted a plea agreement in 4th District Court in Provo on Thursday. He entered guilty pleas to both second-degree felony charges of theft pursuant to a rental agreement.
Two class A and two class B misdemeanor counts of theft by deception were dismissed.
In July, Flygare rented camera equipment worth $11,432 from Allen’s Camera in Orem, according to court documents. He later told the store owners he had lost the equipment, but the owner discovered a missing camera on eBay.
During the police investigation, officers found Flygare convinced a friend to sell the items online under false pretenses. The equipment still had the store serial numbers attached, reports state.
The teenager tried to work out a deal with the manager of Allen’s Camera but the manager told Flygare not to return to the store, police reported.
Later in August, Flygare rented nearly $12,000 worth of gear from Red Finch Rental in Orem. He reportedly told the store owners he had lost the equipment on a hiking trail in Park City.
He explained that a friend holding 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.
But 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.
“Maxwell had pawned the rest of the equipment which he claimed to had destroyed,” the police report stated. “It was too late to recover some of it as the pawn shop had already gotten rid of it.”
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.
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.
During the court hearing on Thursday, Judge James Taylor agreed to allow Flygare to be supervised via GPS monitoring through a private company if the bail was paid.