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Millcreek Journal

Millcreek officer helps return stolen Native American antiquities

Nov 04, 2019 11:50AM ● By Kirk Bradford

The City Council, Chief Dubry, Detective Gary Evans and his wife following the presentation of the award. (Kirk Bradford/City Journals)

By Kirk Bradford | [email protected]

During a September city council meeting, a bright light was shined upon Detective Gary Evans of the Unified Police Department. Evans has had some lows on the job not many officers face. In July 2016, he was called to the scene of a domestic violence situation that quickly escalated. Evans and his partner ended up having to confront a man with a shotgun. After being targeted and shot at by the suspect, they were forced to use deadly force. After two long months, Evans was cleared by Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill who in his statement said, “Officer Evans’ and Officer Franchow’s belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent their death or serious bodily injury was reasonable." 

In 2016, Evans was part of a Multi-Division Team Citation Award from the City of Taylorsville. It was explained that on July 15, 2016, officers responded to a shooting in Taylorsville. Chief Tracy Wyant described a pursuit and subsequent activities that resulted in the apprehension of two suspects and the recovery of weapons. Wyant commended the teamwork and unity displayed. 

In September, Evans was awarded Millcreek’s Officer of the Month for August. Deputy Chief Steve Debry of the Unified Police Department presented the award. He read the citation, explaining, “It’s difficult at times to pick just one officer because there’s so many of them who do good things. So it’s tough, but the cream rises every month and it’s my pleasure to recognize Detective Gary Evans at this time.” Evans was recently assigned to follow up on a stolen vehicle case. The victim’s vehicle was stolen and contained Native American antiquities and firearms. They estimated the property loss over $15,000 but many of the stolen items were irreplaceable. The department assigned Evans the case on the last day of his work week with only a few hours left in his shift. Evans discovered an arrest was made by an outside agency on the case and the suspect was incarcerated. The known suspect was arrested in the victim’s vehicle but none of the missing property was located. 

Evans promptly responded to the Salt Lake County jail and interviewed the suspect. During the interview, Evans established a rapport and explained the significance of the stolen items to the suspect. They denied seeing or having any direct knowledge of the stolen property but did provide names on who provided the stolen car and the identity of the storage location used. Evans continued his investigation and with the assistance of other detectives, a warrant was served and the storage facility searched. 

Nearly all the stolen property was recovered, documented and returned to the victim. Of the four firearms stolen, one was recovered, and two more are currently being tracked down out of state. Debry praised Evans, saying, “This case highlights Detective Evans's strong work ethic, attention to detail, customer service and desire to track down all leads. When Detective Evans was assigned this case, the suspect was in custody for possessing a stolen vehicle, but it was the items stolen from the vehicle which upset the victim the most. The victim was in disbelief when he learned his property had been recovered and expressed how greatly he was impressed and specifically mentioned Detective Evans's skill and customer service. Because of Detective Evans's tenacity and willingness to go the extra mile in this investigation, he is awarded the MillCreek Officer of the Month for August.”