PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
January 11, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SLCPD Arrest Man, Recover Unique Artwork
SALT LAKE CITY — Officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department recently arrested a 36-year-old man accused of possessing stolen custom artwork and a large amount of methamphetamine.
The initial investigation started at 8:02 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022 when SLCPD officers took a report of a theft near 200 South West Temple Street.
Officers met with the victim and learned someone stole his enclosed cargo trailer. The victim told officers the trailer had several thousand dollars’ worth of property, including custom and distinctive metal artwork.
After taking the report, detectives with the SLCPD Auto Theft Unit took over the investigation and began pursuing all investigative details.
At 1:28 a.m. on Thursday, January 5, 2023, graveyard officers proactively patrolling the area of 5600 West 900 South spoke with two men who were in possession of four trailers.
Through investigative follow-up, officers and detectives learned that some of the items on or in the trailers were stolen.
Detectives started sorting through the property and trailers in order to return the items to their rightful owners.
Because of the large amount of property and trailers with stripped off vehicle identification numbers (VINs), detectives are asking anyone who may have had any tools with special markings or a trailer stolen in the last six months that matches one in the photos to email contact information and case number to AutoTheft@slcgov.com
As part of the investigation, detectives also released photos of the artwork so all SLCPD employees could be on the lookout for the items.
On Monday, January 9, 2023, patrol officers assigned to the Pioneer Patrol Division spotted a piece of artwork, matching the description of the artwork previously stolen, on a trailer near 900 South 5600 West.
Officers contacted the owner of the trailer, later identified as Travis Hayes.
Through the investigation officers secured a court-authorized search warrant.
As a result of the search warrant, officers recovered the artwork, a Salt Lake City street sign, a large amount of methamphetamine, heroin, drug paraphernalia, and tools that could be used to commit burglaries.
Officers booked Hayes into Salt Lake County Jail on two felony counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Distribute, two felony counts of Possession of a controlled substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, two counts of Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, and Possession of Burglary Tools.
Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Salt Lake City Police Department is not the custodian of record for jail booking photos. Utah Code 17-22-30 mostly prohibits the release of jail booking photos. Generally, a jail booking photo can only be released by the custodian of record after a conviction or when law enforcement determines the person is a fugitive or an imminent threat to a person or public safety. In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is the custodian of record for jail booking photos.
The Salt Lake City Police Department has a dedicated unit strictly to auto theft. This unit is highly skilled and experienced. The detectives assigned to the SLCPD Auto Theft Unit not only follow up on cases by handling all auto theft investigations, but they deploy into the field to track down known vehicle theft offenders who have warrants or to look for, and recover, stolen vehicles. The SLCPD Auto Theft Unit periodically does multi-day operations, using various department resources and technology to assist in making arrests and recovering vehicles. These operations have an immediate and direct impact on other crimes being committed in Salt Lake City.
There are still several pieces of artwork, similar to the one recovered, missing. If anyone has any information about them, please call 801-799-3000.
Photos of items recovered are being released. Media may use these photos with credit to the Salt Lake City Police Department.