ST. GEORGE — A local man with an extensive criminal history dating back to the 1980s has been formally charged with felony theft following an investigation into a business burglary reported more than a week ago in LaVerkin.
The arrest was set in motion shortly after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 17 when a patrol officer noticed a man sitting in a vehicle on West 200 North in LaVerkin who was a suspect in a business burglary reported the previous week.
The burglary was reported at a business in LaVerkin involving copper that was stolen and then resold the following day. Investigators suspected that 52-year-old David Edward Staples was involved in the incident, the same man who the officer saw sitting in the car.
The officer approached the vehicle and spoke with Staples, who reportedly denied being involved in the burglary but said he sold the copper that was valued at more than $1,500. Staples also reportedly said he got the metal from a man he only knew as “Steve,” who handed it over to him in the parking lot of the recycling center.
The suspect also told officers he sold the copper to the recycling center and cashed the check the following day.
According to the police report, the copper that was sold to the recycling business was unique and specific to the business it was taken from.
Staples was arrested and transported to jail where he was booked on third-degree felony theft for receiving stolen property. He was also booked on an active misdemeanor warrant issued out of Washington City that was found during a background check.
The suspect has multiple arrests and convictions dating back more than three decades, and he was on probation on a 2019 case at the time of his arrest on Sunday, involving theft of bank card information in which over $1,500 was taken in the November 2019 theft. Staples was on 24 months probation for the theft.
Following the arrest on Sunday, the suspect was formally charged and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Dec. 17.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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