Police: 2 men face felonies after stealing computers from business, trying to resell to chain store

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A monthlong investigation by a Washington City Police detective led to the arrest of two men suspected in a business burglary where police allege that equipment, furniture and mail valued at nearly $10,000 was stolen.

Jonathan Anthony McAlister, 40, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Oct. 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The two men – Jonathan Anthony McAlister, 40, of St. George, and Matthew Anastacio, 25, of Washington City – were arrested Wednesday and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility where they were being held on $10,000 bail each.

They appeared in 5th District Court on multiple charges Thursday. Both men face one count of second-degree felony theft and one third-degree felony count of burglary, along with one misdemeanor charge for mail theft, according to probable cause statements filed in supports of the arrests.

The charges stem from an incident reported Oct. 1 when officers responded to a burglary in Washington City where they learned that several computers, equipment and a box of U.S. mail had been taken.

Surveillance footage showed two suspects entering the business by forcing entry into a side door.

The footage also revealed that both suspects had their faces covered and were wearing long sleeves and pants, and one of the suspects appeared to walk “pigeon-toed,” the officer noted in the report.

The suspects then pulled a black BMW X-3 into the garage and loaded the car with boxes of computer equipment and mail before driving off.

Through the course of the investigation, officers were provided the make and model numbers of the computer equipment allegedly taken during the incident.

Those numbers were later matched to information provided by a big-box retail store in Washington City reporting that two men matching the description of the suspects involved in the burglary attempted to sell the equipment to the store.

Matthew Anastacio, 25, of Washington City, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Oct. 30, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Additionally, a witness came forward saying he was contacted by the suspects asking if he would like to purchase the equipment, and he was able to get a good look at the computers when he met the pair in a Walmart parking lot. The witness told police the men identified themselves as “John and Matt.”

The witness also said the men sent photos of the equipment, which were provided to police.

The detective was able to match the make and model numbers shown in the photos to the equipment allegedly taken from the business.

Upon further inspection of the photos, the detective determined that the background image was an exact match to a storage unit on West Sunset Boulevard in St. George. He matched the unit number shown in the photo to a unit he later learned was rented by Mcalister, who fit the physical description of the shorter male seen in the surveillance footage during the burglary.

McAlister was later identified from a photo lineup as the man trying to sell the equipment in the parking lot.

Officers obtained a warrant, and during a search of the storage unit they located one of the computer items reportedly taken in the burglary.

When officers responded to McAlister’s residence, they found Anastacio there as well and noted that he matched the witness description and walked with the same gait as what was seen in the surveillance footage.

Both men were transported to the police station where they were interviewed and at which point McAlister allegedly admitted to the burglary, telling officers that both he and Anastacio broke into the business and took multiple boxes of property, including computer equipment and furniture they later attempted to sell.

Anastacio requested an attorney as soon as he was read his rights, and the interview was terminated. Both men were subsequently transported and booked into jail and have since been released.

According to police, more than $9,800 in property was allegedly taken during the burglary.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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