After a two month investigation, three suspects have been linked with the burglary of StewartвЂ™s Market in October.
On October 9, Emery County Sheriff Detective Garrett Conover was called to investigate a burglary and theft at the grocery store in Castle Dale. Employees which entered the building that morning noticed the door unlocked. Upon further investigation, the employees found the safe had been wiped clean. After an inventory of goods was taken, and further investigation of the scene was conducted, it was discovered that cash, stamps, and 16 cartons of cigarettes had been stolen. The grand total of stolen items amounted to $13,991.82.
According to Conover, the break-in showed no signs of forced entry, leading investigators to believe the perpetrator(s) must have had a key. Managers gave the identities of all possible suspects, including past employees. After the safe had been fingerprinted, a locksmith said there were no signs of tampering and that it was obvious the safe had been opened with the combination. With this additional information the list of possible suspects had been narrowed down to six employees who knew the code.
All possible suspects were questioned by the Emery County SheriffвЂ™s Office, but only one left suspicion behind, 25-year-old Kayla Carter.
вЂњSome of her story just didnвЂ™t make sense,вЂќ Conover said. вЂњHer behavior and her statements led us to believe she was involved.вЂќ
After a second questioning in late October, Carter admitted she had lied in her first statement, but declined to divulge any further information.
The case broke open when the SheriffвЂ™s Office received an anonymous tip from Zions Bank in Castle Dale on November 3. The teller said there was a 17-year-old male in the branch trying change out $270 in rolled coins for cash. This raised a red flag and investigators brought in the juvenile on unrelated charges. Investigators then questioned the teenager regarding the burglary of StewartвЂ™s Market and soon received a full confession of his involvement in the crime, and the names of his accomplices.
In the following weeks after theВ juvenile’s confession, Carter was again brought in for questioning,В along with a third suspect, 27-year-old Ronald Tyler Firm. During CarterвЂ™s questioning, she stated her involvement in the crime was opening the door and giving out the safe code. Carter denied taking anything from the store personally.
Firm was arrested and brought in for questioning on November 30, andВ subsequentlyВ gave a full confession.
The juvenile and Firm both admitted to spending the money from the burglary to support their drug habits.
вЂњDrugs contribute to over 90% of our theft cases in the area,вЂќ Conover said. вЂњIf friends or family member of those suffering with addiction would help them receive treatment, it would minimize crime.вЂќ
Firm has been formally charged with burglary, a third degree felony, theft, a second degree felony, and criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor. Firm will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on December 18.
The juvenile involved was also charged with burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
Carter has been summoned to court on January 2, and faces charges of accessory to theft, a second degree felony, and accessory to burglary, a third degree felony.
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