OREM, Utah, Nov. 29, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Brigham Young University police arrested a man for seven counts of theft after he allegedly stole rare Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-related photographs and books.
A probable cause statement from Utah County said Kevin Mark Ronald Schuwer, 29, is facing one count of third-degree felony theft and six counts of misdemeanor B theft.
The statement said that on Oct. 11, Schuwer entered the Harold B. Lee Library on the BYU campus and requested to see photos in the Special Collections room of the library.
“While looking at the photos, Schuwer removed an original photo of Porter Rockwell from its protective sleeve and replaced it with a fake copy of the same picture,” the statement said. Rockwell was a member of the LDS Church.
Schuwer then sold the original photo to a collector in Utah County for $2,000. The collector also said he purchased three rare LDS Church books from Schuwer. These books contained markings showing they were BYU property.”
The collector contacted police and the items were recovered and verified by BYU Special Collections to be BYU property.
Schuwer was arrested at home on Oct. 30 and he was transported to the police station at BYU and advised of his Miranda rights.
“Schuwer said he understood his rights and he was willing to talk to me,” the statement said. “Schuwer admitted that he entered the BYU Special Collections room where he traded a fake photo of Porter Rockwell for an original owned by BYU. Schuwer said he then sold the photo for $2,000 to a collector. Schuwer also admitted to taking six rare books out of the BYU library that he intended to sell.”
Schuwer sold three of the books, which are valued at $300 each, to a collector in Utah. The other three were recovered at Schuwer’s home in Orem.
The probable cause statement said detectives also received a phone call from police at Utah State University who said their library was missing a rare photo of Orson F. Whitney that disappeared after Schuwer visited the university’s library. This picture was sold online to a collector in California by Schuwer.
An arrest warrant was issued by District 1 Court Judge Kevin K. Allen in Cache County on Nov. 27. Schuwer turned himself in at the Utah County Jail to post bail on the Cache County warrant Wednesday.
The Utah Highway Patrol is also investigating Schuwer after a rare picture of Porter Rockwell was found to be missing from the Daughters of the Pioneers Museum in Salt Lake City after Schuwer visited the museum. The missing Rockwell picture was later sold by Schuwer to a collector for $11,500, the statement said.
Schuwer’s bail has been set at $14,080, cash only.