Salt Lake County sheriff's investigators say a man recently posed as a store vendor and walked out of a Wal-Mart under construction with $30,000 in home electronics.
The man was a fairly easy catch for detectives, however, as he lived right across the street from one of their substations. But as of Saturday, the merchandise was still missing.
The incident began April 28 when a man walked into a Wal-Mart still under construction near 13400 South just off the Bangerter Highway and identified himself as a vendor, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak.
The man went into the electronics section of the store and loaded up a cart with flat-screen TVs, a home theater system, a digital camera and other home electronic gear, he said. The man parked his cart next to a door as if he were going to come back with a vehicle and pick it up.
When the man returned, he loaded up his truck with the electronic equipment and also took a lot of tires from the automotive department, Jaroscak said.
Once the store realized what had happened, it went back through its surveillance video, which was already up and running, and found images of the man immediately. Detectives in Riverton forwarded those images to other robbery detectives throughout the valley, Jaroscak said. Investigators at the Millcreek precinct recognized the man as someone they had arrested before. And as a bonus, the man lived right across the street from the detectives' office, Jaroscak said.
Detectives held "surveillance" on the man's residence by looking out their window. When he arrived at home, they went across the street and arrested him.
James Richard Dunn, 43, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for outstanding warrants and investigation of burglary and drug possession.
The sheriff's office Saturday was still trying to determine where the man got the truck he used in the robbery and where the stolen merchandise went. Investigators believe others may have been involved in the incident, Jaroscak said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 743-7000.The sheriff's office was in the process Saturday of tracking down the stolen goods. If a person believes he or she has purchased a TV or other merchandise that might be stolen, possibly because he or she bought it off the street at a reduced price, Jaroscak said it would be in that person's best interest to call the sheriff's office rather than waiting for detectives to find him or her.