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Attorney General’s Strike Force arrests two, recovers stolen guns worth $41,000

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(The Center Square) – The Utah Attorney General’s CASE (Crimes Against State Economy) Strike Force recovered at least $41,000 in stolen merchandise last Friday, and arrested two men in connection with the theft.

Stephen Daniel Cord, 41, of Tremonton, and Matthew Robert Provard, 25, of South Jordan, were employees of Doug’s Shoot’n Sports store in Taylorsville at the time they decided to pilfer rifles, handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, silencers, optics and other accessories from the gun store.

The owner of the store noticed a case of Federal .223 ammunition, which had been ordered for Cord was removed from the backroom of the store but no records for the purchase could be found when he checked.

This led to the discovery that the two employees had devised a scheme that utilized the company’s “Point of sale system” to fraudulently credit themselves with in-store credit and then subsequently use the fraudulent credit to make “purchases” in the store.

Starting on March 1, 2021, Cord made several dozen fraudulent transactions in which he credited his customer account for nearly $10,000. These fraudulent credits to his account were all used to make full or partial payments towards the purchase of 27 firearms, 5 serialized gun parts (Receivers), 2 silencers, ammunition, optics and other firearm accessories.

Further, Provard had also engaged in the same behavior. Between February 27th and July 3, 2023, Provard had taken multiple store accessories with no verification of payment for those items, and there were no transactions logged in the Point-of-Sale system for those accessories during that time period. CCTV recordings confirmed the theft.

The number of items Provard failed to pay for totaled $11,355.60.

As if to add insult to injury, both Cord and Provard hid merchandise in the back room (an area where employees can store personal items while at work), which they then concealed inside backpacks as they left without paying for the items. This was also captured on CCTV.

Cord and Provard were both hired in 2020. Controlled substances were also seized by investigators and charges are still pending.

Provard has been charged with one count of Retail Theft and one count of Pattern of Unlawful Conduct while Cord faces five counts of Retail Theft and one count of Pattern of Unlawful Activity by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. If convicted, the men could face from one to 15 years in prison and restitution fines.

Both men are currently held in the Salt Lake County jail under a no-bond hold.

The Taylorsville Police Department, West Jordan Police Department, Tremonton Fire Department, Box Elder Sheriff’s Department, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted the CASE Strike Force.

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