ST. GEORGE – Thanks to an inpouring of citizen tips, a suspect was arrested in St. George Wednesday in connection with a string of Garfield County burglaries.
“We had so many people call in about that – we had hundreds,” Denise Dastrup, with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We really, really appreciated all the help.”
Many of the tips received by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office identified Gary Beardall as the man caught on camera during a burglary that took place at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City on Saturday. Another burglary, also believed to have been perpetrated by Beardall and a group of others, additionally took place Saturday at South Central Communications in Tropic.
As a result of the many tips received, a warrant was issued Tuesday for Beardall’s arrest.
“We actually had a lot of people that recognized him – I’m not sure the number, but it was substantial,” Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins said.
Beardall was due to appear in 5th District Court in St. George Wednesday on a matter unrelated to the Garfield County burglaries. Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies were waiting for him at the courthouse and were able to arrest him with assistance from the St. George Police Department. Beardall was then transported to the Garfield County Jail in Panguitch.
Perkins said he’s been told Beardall may have been living out of a storage unit in St. George prior to his arrest.
Approximately five people wearing masks were recorded by a security camera during the South Central Communications break-in on Saturday. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is still seeking the other suspects, who, along with Beardall, are believed to have also been responsible for the Ruby’s Inn burglary and several other break-ins at South Central Communications, as well.
“I’m very confident it was the same guys,” Perkins said.
Perkins said the Sheriff’s Office has a very good case against Beardall, and it is hoped Beardall will ultimately cooperate in identifying the others involved in the burglaries.
Beardall is currently being held at the Garfield County Jail on one third-degree felony burglary charge and two third-degree felony theft charges, according to court documents. His bail is set at $20,000.
A $1,000 reward was offered collaboratively by Ruby’s Inn and South Central Communications for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man captured in the surveillance video, now believed to be Beardall. Dastrup said she doesn’t know whether any reward claims have yet been made, but the reward money is contingent on Beardall being convicted.
Perkins expressed his gratitude to the Utah community for the overwhelming assistance that led to Beardall’s arrest.
“Between the social media and the news coverage it really made a difference, and I appreciate it,” Perkins said.
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