TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, July 21, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Two former employees have been arrested for allegedly stealing roughly $41,000 in firearms and accessories from a Taylorsville gun store.
Stephen Daniel Cord, 41, of Tremonton, and Matthew Robert Provard, 25, of South Jordan, are accused of using the point-of-sale system at Doug’s Shoot’n Sports to fraudulently give themselves in-store credit and purchase firearms, ammunition, gun parts and accessories.
Cord and Provard also hid merchandise in a back room of the store and concealed the stolen items inside backpacks, court documents state. The employees were captured on surveillance video leaving the store with the items without purchasing them, police said.
The employees’ alleged actions over several months were discovered in June by the gun store’s owner, who then alerted law enforcement.
Agents with the Utah Attorney General’s Crimes Against State Economy (CASE) Strike Force recovered dozens of firearms and accessories stolen from the gun store and shooting range at 4926 S. Redwood Road.
The attorney general’s office this week charged Cord with five counts of retail theft and one count of pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies.
Provard has been charged with single counts of retail theft and pattern of unlawful activity, according to court documents.
Cord, who had worked at the Doug’s since 2020, got the owner’s attention June 7 when a case of ammunition the employee had ordered was removed from the back room of the store.
“The owner checked [Cord’s] records to see who had assisted with the ammunition purchase and [he] could not find a transaction,” according to a probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court.
Cord made “several dozen fraudulent transactions” beginning in March 2021 and totaling nearly $10,000, court documents state. During that time, Cord used the fraudulent credit to purchase 27 firearms, five serialized gun parts and two silencers, according to the attorney general’s office.
Cord also purchased ammunition, gun parts, optics and other firearms accessories worth more than $7,800, court documents state.
The gun store owner conducted an audit of employees’ transactions, which uncovered more discrepancies involving Provard, who had worked at Doug’s since February 2020.
“The owner typically allows employees an incentive by allowing them to purchase items from the store at wholesale price,” court documents state. “While conducting his records audit, the owner discovered transcripts from the sales system which showed [Provard] created a ‘bogus deposit’ for himself in the amount of $185.05.”
The deposit in March was similar to those made by Cord, which raised red flags and led to further investigation.
Court documents say Provard took more than $11,000 in merchandise home without paying for it between Feb. 27 and July 3.
Detectives also seized a controlled substance during the investigation, which could lead to additional charges, the AG’s office stated in a news release.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Taylorsville and West Jordan police departments, Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office and Tremonton Fire Department assisted in the investigation, according to the attorney general’s office.