FBI arrests man wanted for robbing St. George jewelry store at gunpoint while posing as FBI agent

Surveillance footage shows a suspect at a local jewelry store committing an armed robbery in St. George, Utah, in September, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Las Vegas man who posed as an FBI agent and then robbed a jewelry store in St. George at gunpoint in September was taken into federal custody Monday afternoon following a joint investigation by the FBI and the St. George Police Department.

Kevin White, 57, of Las Vegas, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, April 20, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Kevin White, 57, was arrested in Las Vegas by the FBI Criminal Apprehension Team after he was indicted in federal court on one count of robbery under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion that affects interstate or foreign commerce “in any way or degree,” according to the Department of Justice.

The federal complaint was unsealed Tuesday morning when White made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in St. George.

White, who has used at least 17 aliases, was on federal supervised release after serving more than 13 years in federal prison for the armed robbery of a Las Vegas jewelry store and is “an eight-time felon who has committed multiple robberies,” according to a sentencing memo filed in the Nevada case.

The arrest stems from an incident in St. George in September 2019 when a suspect, later identified as White, entered a family-owned jewelry store shortly after 1 p.m. wearing a straw cowboy hat, a black jacket with “FBI” on the back, and a metal FBI badge on a lanyard around his neck.

He was also carrying a black portfolio, handcuffs, a handheld radio and a handgun holstered on his right hip. The suspect told employees that he was an FBI agent, the complaint alleges, showing them multiple FBI wanted posters that he said were of fugitives that had been spotted in the St. George area. He then asked both employees if they recognized any of the fugitives depicted in the posters and inquired as to whether anyone else was working in the store at the time.

Surveillance footage shows a suspect at a local jewelry store committing an armed robbery in St. George, Utah, in September 2019 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

As the suspect was leaving the store, he stopped at one of the display cases and began asking to look at a number of pieces of jewelry, telling the employees that he “came in looking for a suspect, might be leaving with an engagement ring.”

Minutes later, the suspect pulled the handgun and pointed it at the employees, telling them not to hit the silent alarm, or “I will kill you,” according to the complaint.

The suspect allegedly grabbed jewelry items valued at more than $39,000 from the display counter. As he exited the store, he again threatened to kill both employees if the exit doors were locked, leaving them fearing for their lives, agents recounted in a press release.

St. George Police officers were dispatched to the scene and were told that a man entered the store wearing a fake beard while posing as a law enforcement agent. Later, the FBI became involved. And in October, the portfolio the suspect was carrying and other evidence was sent to the FBI laboratory for forensic analysis.

Last week, agents were notified that a male DNA profile had been obtained from an area near the exterior stitching of the portfolio that came back as a match to White.

Investigators also determined that the suspect description provided by the employees and surveillance images from the business also matched White’s appearance.

The suspect was arrested six days later and remains in federal custody. A detention hearing may be held at a later date, agents say.

If convicted, White could face up to 20 years in prison if he receives the maximum penalty under the Hobbs Act.

The FBI Criminal Apprehension Team is comprised of officers and agents from the FBI, Las Vegas Metro Police Department, the Henderson Police Department, and the North Las Vegas Police Department. FBI agents from St. George and officers with the St. George Police Department also assisted.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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