A former Salt Lake computer student who allegedly enlisted the help of friends to perpetuate a tri-county crime spree in northern Utah is now a suspect in a couple of bank robberies in the Salt Lake Valley.
Investigators are acquiring mounds of paperwork in their documentation of Kelly L. Garner's alleged criminal activity - from reports on a Brigham City burglary of the Division of Motor Vehicles Office to probing for possible involvement in two bank heists.Garner, 37, who was on the run until his apprehension in Colorado Springs, Colo., is tied to at least eight business burglaries plus two robberies, said Ogden police detective Scott McGregor.
The detective said it isn't hard to miss the tie because the crimes have such a distinctive style.
Several pharmacies along the Wasatch Front, since the first of the year, have been burglarized by someone who first cuts the phone line to disable to alarm system. The burglar then retreats to the bushes or some other cover, lies in wait for 20 minutes to see if police arrive and then twists the lock off the door.
The thief then waits an additional 20 minutes before entering the business and slips away with the booty with the help of a female acquaintance parked nearby.
McGregor said in the case of the pharmacy burglaries, several thousand dollars worth of prescription drugs - mostly painkillers - were taken to be sold on the street.
In the Brigham City burglary, the burglar took the safe and the equipment that makes driver's licenses. McGregor said the safe was recovered in a reservoir east of Ogden, but authorities have been unable to locate the identification equipment.
McGregor has been working closely with Riverdale police detective James Ebert and other Northern Utah law enforcement officers to build a racketeering case.
The work is tedious, because they believe their suspect has been so busy.
FBI special agent John Macdonald said this week investigators are looking at Garner for his possible involvement in two bank robberies in March and April in the Salt Lake Valley.
Garner had been in custody after being picked up by Centerville police in connection with a burglary there. He was booked into the Davis County Jail, but was released after a female friend posted his bail.
McGregor said he then absconded and it wasn't until June 6 that the law caught up with him in downtown Colorado Springs.
Lt. Sam Washburn, with the Colorado Springs Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Unit, said Garner was arrested at gunpoint in the middle of the afternoon. Officers had received information about an armed person in possession of a controlled substance.
Garner tried to pass himself off with an alias, and authorities soon learned that minutes earlier, the man had allegedly entered a woman's house and threatened her at gunpoint.
Colorado Springs, too, had been victimized by a pharmacy burglary a month earlier and officers recovered three syringes, Ritalin and a loaded semi-automatic handgun underneath the seat of Garner's car, Washburn said.
In Davis County, an arrest warrant has been issued against Garner for bail jumping, felony criminal mischief, burglary and numerous other charges.