BYU football signee’s missionary suitcases stolen at Orem restaurant just hours before he was to enter MTC
Orem Police have arrested one suspect in the case, but have yet to locate missionary Brooks Maile’s property, including his late father’s scriptures
OREM — BYU football signee Brooks “Buku” Maile gathered with his family and friends at an Orem restaurant Wednesday morning for one last meal before they were to drop him off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.
But while they were dining at the Chuck-A-Rama at 1408 S. State Street, two men broke into the family’s car and stole at least two of Maile’s missionary suitcases — including one that contained his late father’s irreplaceable scriptures. Speakers, subwoofers, a new laptop and other items belonging to other family members were also taken around 11:30 a.m., according to police.
Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge said officers spotted a white van on University Parkway Thursday morning that matched the description of the suspects’ vehicle and arrested the driver, the lone person in the van, but had not recovered the stolen goods as of 1 p.m. Thursday.
David Brian Beames, 41, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of vehicle burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other suspect is still at large, has yet to be identified, and Beames has not cooperated with police, Colledge said.
ATTENTION UTAH PLEASE RETWEET— #IamJackDamuni 🇫🇯 (@JackDamuni) August 21, 2019
My nephew and 2018 BYU signee Elder @brooksmaile90 was on his way to the mtc today and had all of his luggage stolen out of his family car at Chuck Arama in Orem If you see this white van please report it to the police.
The missionary’s aunt, Milika Pikula Moeai, said the family did not immediately realize their possessions had been stolen. But they discovered all but one of Maile’s suitcases were missing when they arrived at the MTC and began taking pictures there and at the nearby Provo Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Almost all of the mission gear he needed, his clothes and all that, we’re in those bags,” Moeai said. “It’s really, really sad.”
Police were able to obtain security footage from the restaurant’s parking lot that shows two men loading the stolen items into a white van with carpet hanging out the back. However, their faces are not visible on the footage, Moeai said.
“Buku was really upset when he found out his dad’s scriptures were gone,” she said. “Those have a lot of sentimental value, because his father used them on his mission years ago.”
Kolei Maile died unexpectedly on Christmas Day in 2017 at the age of 47.
While family members drove through Provo and Orem streets Wednesday night looking for the white van and the stolen items they were hoping were discarded, the missionary’s mother, Nisi Maile, purchased some replacement apparel and items at nearby stores.
Moeai said several people have offered to pay to replace all the stolen items, and the Modern Missionary store at 230 E. University Parkway where most of the items were purchased has offered to replace them free of charge.
“People we don’t even know have been really generous,” she said. “But we’re still trying to find those scriptures, for obvious reasons.”
Maile spent the night in the MTC and will be there for three weeks before he departs for two years in Tonga. He is the oldest of Nisi and Kolei Maile’s four children.
Maile was listed at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds when he signed with BYU in December of 2018 and was the student body president at Pine View High School in St. George. The defensive tackle is a three-star recruit according to 247sports.com and ESPN.com and graduated from high school last May with an associate degree already in hand.
“He put football on hold to go on a mission,” said Moeai, who is Nisi’s sister.
Colledge said officers have several leads as to the identity of the second alleged thief and are “hopeful” they can still recover the stolen property.
Anyone with information should contact Orem police at 801-229-7070.