Trio arrested for stealing $1.6K in tools from Home Depot in American Fork
The American Fork Police Department arrested three men who reportedly tried to steal more than $1,600 worth of tools from a Home Depot in American Fork on Thursday.
Harley Hiatt, 43, and Aram Berzenji, 37, of Salt Lake City, along with Brandon Kearns, 27, of Orem, were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, a third-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
Hiatt reportedly entered the retail store late Thursday afternoon, according to a probable cause statement. Store employees recognized Hiatt and called the police, stating Hiatt had previously stolen tools from the store.
“Hiatt was identified as a suspect in many similar thefts in Utah and Salt Lake County” and had been trespassed from several businesses after he had been caught shoplifting, the probable cause stated.
During past thefts, Hiatt had allegedly put tools inside a shopping cart and ran out an emergency exit of the store to a waiting vehicle. He had been arrested and charged a month earlier for trying to steal $873 worth of merchandise from a Home Depot in Sandy, police reported.
While in the Home Depot at American Fork, Hiatt reportedly placed three packages of Milwaukee tools into a shopping cart and stood by the emergency doors at the back of the store, the probable cause stated.
Officers arrived at the store and observed Berzenji and Kearns sitting inside a small passenger car parked at the rear of the store by the emergency exit.
As officers watched, Hiatt pushed the cart out the emergency door and hurried to the car, the report stated. Berzenji and Hiatt began throwing items from the cart into the trunk of the car.
Officers arrested all three men and found more than $1,620 worth of stolen items in the trunk, along with items stolen earlier from a Provo business. Inside the vehicle, officers also found heroin and drug paraphernalia.
In interviews with police, Hiatt and Kearns said they had stolen $700 worth of tools two days earlier from the Home Depot in American Fork.
Hiatt said he had wanted to steal tools from the store earlier in the week, but a store employee was watching him, police reported.
He also told police he has committed so many thefts recently he couldn’t remember everything he had stolen. Hiatt said he sells the tools through online sales websites and at nearby pawn shops to support his drug addiction, according to the probable cause statement.