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Police arrest married couple allegedly responsible for at least 25 robberies

MILLCREEK — Police have arrested a husband and wife they say are responsible for at least 25 robberies, at least four of them occurring since Tuesday.

Officers made the arrest late Thursday afternoon following a short police pursuit, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Ryan Shosted.

Cottonwood Heights police conducted a traffic stop on Mathew and Kellie Kuepper on 2000 East near I-215 around 4 p.m., just after they had robbed Papa John's, 1844 E. Fort Union Blvd., and the fleeing vehicle had been identified, according to Shosted.

The couple fled police, but gave themselves up after being boxed in by officers from multiple agencies at 7800 South and 900 East in Midvale, Shosted said.

Since June 6, detectives believe the husband has robbed at least 25 businesses, mostly fast-food and pizza establishments, and that the wife has aided him by acting as a lookout.

The couple is suspected of robbing a Papa Murphy's in Murray on June 6; a Papa Murphy's in South Salt Lake on June 7; a Papa Murphy's in Holladay on June 9; a Papa Murphy's in West Jordan on June 10; an Arctic Circle in Taylorsville on June 17; Cartridge World, 862 E. Fort Union Blvd., on June 18; Subway, 7173 S. 700 West, on June 19; Domino's Pizza, 4766 S. Highland Drive, on June 19; Jamba Juice, 500 S. Redwood Road, on June 19; Subway, 3187 W. 5400 South, on June 20; Papa Murphy's in Murray on June 21; Radiant Nails, 715 E. Fort Union Blvd., on June 21; another fast-food restaurant in Murray on June 22; and 7-Eleven, 911 E. 3300 South, on June 22.

A "realistic" looking airsoft gun was recovered from the Kueppers' car after they were apprehended, Shosted said. Police believe the gun was used in all of the robberies in question, he said.

Investigators said the Kueppers are also believed to have committed a robbery at L.A. Nails at 1779 E. Murray Holladay Road just minutes before targeting Papa John's.

"We’re really happy to have people like this off the streets," Shosted said. "These were people who were habitually committing felony crimes, putting the public in danger."

Imploring that "this guy really needs to be caught," Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said earlier Thursday that the series of recent robberies closely followed a similar pattern.

"In almost all of the robberies, the male enters the restaurant, displays the firearm, and tells the employees that he doesn't want to hurt anybody, but he needs all the money," Bell said.

No injuries were reported as a result of any of the robberies.

Anyone with additional information about any of the incidents can call Unified police at 385-468-9819.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam