A transient Provo man is facing felony charges after he was allegedly found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle, almost $1,000 in construction equipment and a .40-caliber Glock G27 pistol.
Officers with the Payson Police Department responded to a local address Monday after an employee of a construction and excavation business reported a theft of a vehicle with a trailer that contained various items.
Authorities on scene reported evidence suggesting the suspect entered the property late Friday evening or early Saturday morning, using a cutting tool to damage a padlock and gain access to a storage shed. Once inside, the suspect obtained the keys to several vehicles at the location, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
One of the vehicles — a 2017 white GMC flatbed truck — was missing and was not reported to be in the possession of any of the company’s employees. The complainant advised police the truck was towing a large, dump-style trailer.
While speaking with employees on scene, police discovered the truck has On Star service, which they used to track and locate the vehicle. The vehicle was located at a gas station in Orem.
Officers with the Orem Police Department responded to the gas station, locating and positively identifying the stolen truck using the description given by the complainants, as well as the license plate number. When authorities found the truck, the trailer was no longer attached.
Authorities reported two suspects in and around the truck. One of the suspects was identified as 20-year-old Richard John Brown of Provo. Brown is listed as transient by police.
Brown was detained and questioned, allegedly telling police he did not know the truck was stolen and that a friend had lent him the truck to move property at about 4 a.m. Brown also allegedly told authorities he did not know anything about the trailer that was attached to the truck.
Brown allegedly told authorities he would provide a phone number to the suspect who loaned him the truck, but after learning he was being placed under arrest, Brown reportedly became agitated. At that time, Brown allegedly told police “what’s the point” before saying he would not provide the information.
During a search of Brown’s person and the stolen vehicle, police discovered a compact Glock pistol on his waistline. The pistol was reportedly discovered with a fully loaded magazine and one bullet in the chamber.
Police also found several items consistent with items commonly taken during a vehicle burglary, including several cell phones, various cell phone charging cords and battery packs as well as various sunglasses for men and women, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Authorities also discovered two drawstring bags, which Brown reportedly said he had found abandoned at a gas station. Police found several similar items in the bags as well as gift cards for various retail establishments. Brown allegedly told police the gift cards were his and that he put them in the drawstring bags instead of his backpack.
Officials also located several tools, including knives, flashlights and gloves. Brown was also reportedly found to be in possession of a pair of bolt cutters, which police believe may have been used to cut the padlocks on the complainant’s shed.
All of the items were confiscated and booked into evidence. Police contacted a woman who was believed to be the owner of an Apple iPhone allegedly found to be in Brown’s possession.
The woman advised police that her Provo residence had been burglarized on Monday evening and a large amount of property had been stolen, including power tools, cash and personal electronics.
Authorities were able to return a GoPro camera, an old Apple iPhone, an iPod, a small camcorder and an iWatch to the woman and her daughter. The woman told police she was missing “almost $1,000 and was probably close to $800,” according to the probable cause statement. At the time of his arrest, Brown was reportedly found to be in possession of $897.
On Tuesday, a man contacted police to report his pistol was stolen or missing from his vehicle. The man advised police the pistol was stored in his vehicle and was likely stolen on Monday evening when he was visiting a friend in Payson.
As of Tuesday, police believe the estimated value of the items found in Brown’s possession is $2,500. The investigation is still ongoing, according to arrest documents, and police believe Brown may be involved in several other outstanding theft incidents.
Authorities arrest Brown under the suspicion of second-degree felony transferring stolen vehicle, third-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property, and class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle without a license.
He is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on $5,000 bail.