We were able to pinpoint that the firearms were brought to the (Las Vegas) area by Mr. Livingston. —Pete Butcher, Roosevelt Police Lt.
ROOSEVELT — Authorities believe they know who stole 18 semi-automatic handguns last summer from a locked display case inside a Roosevelt store.
On June 23, a masked man dressed in black broke into Stewart's Marketplace, 245 W. U.S. 40, about 2:30 a.m. Store surveillance video shows the man running directly to the sporting goods department, shattering the glass out of a gun case and loading handguns into a duffel bag before running off.
Investigators initially had few leads in the case, but caught a break when three of the stolen guns were recovered in the Las Vegas area, Roosevelt Police Lt. Pete Butcher said Tuesday.
"One of the guns was recovered from a traffic stop, and the other two were recovered (during) violent felonies," the lieutenant said.
Detectives with the Roosevelt and Las Vegas Metropolitan police departments, working with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, interviewed the individuals who were arrested with the guns. Those interviews helped police identify Raymond Michael Livingston as a suspect in the Stewart's Marketplace burglary, Butcher said.
"We were able to pinpoint that the firearms were brought to the (Las Vegas) area by Mr. Livingston," the lieutenant said, noting that the investigation involved "hard work by a lot of people."
"A lot of this has been the shoe hitting the pavement," Butcher said. "You can find out where stolen guns are located, but to find out how they came to be there is a pretty big task."
Livingston, 34, has been charged in 8th District Court with 18 counts of theft, a second-degree felony, and one count of burglary, a third-degree felony. A $185,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest.
State court records in Utah show Livingston has prior misdemeanor convictions for DUI, alcohol-related reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a revoked license and littering from a vehicle.
Authorities know Livingston has family ties to Uintah County and suspect he has returned to the area in the months since the burglary.
"We believe that he has come back to Utah on several occasions and that he runs back and forth from Utah to southern Nevada," Butcher said.
The ATF has posted a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the burglary and firearms theft. That offer has been matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the national trade association for the firearms industry, bringing the potential reward to $10,000.
Anyone with information about the case should call the ATF's Gun Hotline at 800-283-4867, the ATF Salt Lake City field office at 801-524-7070 or the Roosevelt Police Department at 435-722-4558.