FBI, St. George police investigation leads to arrest in jewelry store robbery case

Kevin White. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Jail

ST. GEORGE, Utah, April 21, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Las Vegas man, who posed as an FBI agent and then robbed Seven Oaks Fine Jewelers in St. George at gunpoint in September, is in federal custody following an investigation by the FBI and the local police department.

Kevin White, 57, was arrested Monday afternoon in Las Vegas on a federal complaint and arrest warrant charging him with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, said a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Utah.

The federal complaint was unsealed Tuesday morning during an initial appearance for White in St. George. White will remain in custody; a detention hearing may be held later.

White, who has used at least 17 aliases, is currently on federal supervised release after serving 165 months in prison for an armed robbery of a Las Vegas jewelry store, the news release said. According to a sentencing memo filed in the Nevada case, White is an eight-time felon who has committed multiple robberies.

“According to the complaint, two employees were working at the family-owned jewelry store in St. George on Sept. 28, 2019, when a black male entered the store about 1:05 p.m.,” the news release said  “He was wearing a straw cowboy hat, a black jacket with ‘FBI’ on the back, and a metal FBI badge on a lanyard around his neck. He was carrying a black portfolio, handcuffs, and a handheld radio. He also had a handgun in a holster on his right hip.”

The man represented to the store employees that he was an FBI agent, the complaint alleges. He retrieved multiple FBI wanted posters from the portfolio and showed them to the victim employees. He told the employees that the fugitives had been in the St. George area and asked the employees if they recognized any of the fugitives. He also asked whether anyone else was working in the store. The employees told him they did not recognize the fugitives and they were the only ones working in the store at that time.

“The complaint alleges the man placed the posters back in the folder and began to leave the store,” the statement said. “He then turned toward a display case and began asking questions about several jewelry items. He told the employees he ‘came in looking for a suspect, might be leaving with an engagement ring.’ The two employees, one standing behind the counter and one a few feet from the man, displayed several jewelry items for the man.”

According to the complaint, at one point the man directed the employee standing near him to get behind the display counter with the other employee and pulled out a black handgun.  The complaint alleges the man, referring to a silent alarm, told the employees, “If you hit the button, I’ll kill you.”

The man allegedly grabbed the jewelry items from the display counter and put them into a bag. He also told the employees he would kill them if the exit doors were locked. The employees feared for their lives, the news release said.

He left the store with 27 pieces of jewelry valued at $39,214, the complaint alleges. In his haste, he left behind a brown fabric bag and his black portfolio.

Investigators submitted the bag and portfolio with its contents to the FBI Laboratory for forensic analysis. Agents were notified April 13 that a male DNA profile had been obtained from the portfolio in the textured material near the exterior stitching, the news release said. The DNA profile matched White. Physical descriptions of the suspect provided by the victim employees and surveillance images from the business matched White’s appearance.

The potential maximum penalty for a Hobbs Act robbery is 20 years in prison. The Hobbs Act criminalizes both robbery and extortion.

The FBI Criminal Apprehension Team is comprised of officers and agents from the FBI, Las Vegas Metro Police Department, the Henderson Police Department and the North Las Vegas Police Department. FBI agents from St. George and the St. George Police Department also assisted.


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