Two people were arrested in Tooele County this week as part of an ongoing investigation that police say started when more than two dozen guns were stolen from the home of a war veteran.
In February, approximately 30 guns were stolen from the Tooele home of a Vietnam veteran, said Tooele Police Lt. Jeremy Hansen. Police have been collecting evidence and information since the theft and have arrested at least one other person.
Hansen said several people broke into the man’s house when he wasn’t there, cut open his gun safe, took both military-style weapons and hunting rifles and then “scattered” the weapons among several people around Utah.
On Wednesday, as part of the ongoing investigation, the Tooele County Major Crimes Task Force — comprised of several local and state agencies — pulled over a vehicle with five people inside. A police K-9 then indicated there may be drugs inside the car, prompting a search by officers.
A man who police say had heroin and methamphetamine in his pockets, was arrested for investigation of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and drug possession. A gun was also found in the man’s backpack, a police affidavit states.
Police learned the gun was listed as stolen out of Salt Lake City. The man told detectives he had just bought it from Jason Staats Chytraus, 39, at his home in Rush Valley, Tooele County, the affidavit states.
“The male said Chytraus still has multiple firearms from (a prior theft) in the basement and bedroom of his residence,” police wrote in the affidavit.
Investigators researched Chytraus’ background and found “criminal history in three states including Utah, New Jersey and New York,” the affidavit states.
The task force served a search warrant at Chytraus’ house and he was arrested and booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and theft of a firearm. During the search of his home, police say 14 firearms were seized, including one listed as stolen out of Cottonwood Heights.
A couple of the weapons stolen from the veteran’s safe were among those recovered, Hansen said.
The search continued Friday for the remaining weapons that were stolen as well as for additional suspects believed to have been involved with the burglary.