2 men arrested in theft of $15K in power tools

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WEST JORDAN — Two men are facing criminal charges after police say they stole thousands of dollars worth of tools from Utah stores.

Charges filed in 3rd District Court on Wednesday allege Chad Ware, 21, and Paul Labouve, 27, busted through glass doors of a Home Depot and a hobby shop in Sandy, and Lowe's stores in Murray and Riverton, running off each time with armfuls of power tools and electronics.

Investigators serving a search warrant in connection with the case Thursday discovered what they believe is at least $15,000 worth of those tools.

According to the charges, online listings for some of the power tools appeared for sale on the online classifieds website Offerup within 90 minutes after surveillance video at the Sandy Home Depot recorded two men carrying them out of the broken door Nov. 27.

A Ford Explorer the men are recorded using to drive off with the tools was also listed, charges state.

After a detective arranged to purchase one of the drills, a warrant was obtained and investigators put a GPS tracker on the Explorer two days later, according to the charges.

On Dec. 2, the data collected from the tracker indicated the Explorer was at a Lowe's in Murray on Dec. 1 and at a Lowe's in Riverton on Dec. 2 when windows were broken and alarms went off.

Murray police reported 10 power tool kits were stolen from the store there, while video from the Riverton store showed a man pushing a cart full of drills and then handing them one by one to a second man outside the store, charges state.

Police also tracked the Explorer to the home it visited most frequently, where police found power tools and three remote-controlled cars believed to be stolen from a Sandy hobby shop on Nov. 22, according to the charges. Police say the cars, worth a total of $550, were stolen when someone smashed in the glass door.

The remote-controlled cars were also listed for sale online by the same person selling the Explorer, the charges state.

A woman who lives in the house said Ware and Labouve started coming there with her sister around Thanksgiving, while the sister told police Ware and Labouve had bragged to her about stealing expensive power tools from a Home Depot, charges state.

A search of the men's phones revealed photos of brand new power tools stacked in the Explorer and a second vehicle that the women said belonged to Labouve, according to the charges. Another photo showed a remote-control car with cash spread over it.

Police continuing to investigate the case after Ware and Labouve were booked into jail searched a second home in Salt Lake County on Thursday, West Jordan police detective Brett Madsen said.

"We were able to recover a large number of tools, approximately $15,000 worth of the tools that had been stolen across the valley," Madsen said. "Once we get those processed, we'll get those back to the rightful owners."

Ware and Labouve are not from Utah, Madsen said, but appear to have come from another state. The men are suspected in a similar burglary in Colorado, Madsen said, and there is a "slight chance" some of the tools found Thursday are from that alleged heist.

"We will see what we can find," Madsen said.

As of Friday, no federal investigators had joined the case, Madsen said.

Ware and Labouve are each charged with theft, a second-degree felony; four counts of burglary, a third-degree felony; an additional count of theft, a third-degree felony; a class A misdemeanor charge of theft; a class B misdemeanor charge of theft; a class A misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief; and three class B misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief.

Initial court appearances for the men are scheduled for Monday.


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McKenzie Romero


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