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4 ARRESTED, ACCUSED OF BUILDING-SUPPLY SCAM

SHARE 4 ARRESTED, ACCUSED OF BUILDING-SUPPLY SCAM

Police nabbed four men accused of fraudulently purchasing thousands of dollars of lumber and building materials during an early Monday morning sting involving several law agencies.

Investigators say the alleged theft ring may have operated almost five years and could involve close to $500,000 of stolen property.The scheme included former employees of area Sutherland Lumber companies using unauthorized purchase orders to procure construction products from area building suppliers such as Boise Cascade, Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser, according to South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Beau Babka.

The thieves would then either use the supplies, sell them to local home improvement stores for cash or credit or reverse return charges to their credit cards, said Babka.

"If they couldn't return the items for cash, they'd exchange them for other things they could sell like lawn mowers or snow blowers," added South Salt Lake detective Scott McBride.

Although Monday's arrests are for investigation of about $60,000 in stolen property missing since November, investigators say the theft ring may have gleaned almost half a million dollars in five years.

Following a 6 a.m. briefing, officers from South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale and the Utah Highway Patrol split up to apprehend the suspects simultaneously.

One arrest was made at a West Jordan building supply company and a second at a Kearns home without incident, said Babka.

The remaining two suspects sped away from South Salt Lake officers about 8 a.m. from an apartment complex at 1800 South and 800 East where they were believed to be staying.

They were arrested moments later at a nearby Checker Auto Parts store after calling one of the apartments.

"Some of our officers were questioning some people in the apartment when one of the suspects called," said Babka. "The name of the store came up on the caller ID machine so we knew where they were."

William Randall Mitchell, 46, Midvale; David Greene, 22, South Salt Lake; Michael Shane Myler, 24, Kearns; and Jamison Vierig, 22, Murray, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of various theft charges including theft by deception and theft of property, Babka said.