Business: Burglar stole $77,000 in property, including Native American artifacts
Some of the stolen property includes Navajo rugs, Persian rugs
FARMINGTON — A man is accused of stealing about $77,000 in stolen goods, including Native American artifacts and jewelry, from a Farmington business after breaking into buildings on the property.
Paul Gurley, 50, faces four felony counts of commercial burglary and three felony counts of criminal damage to property, according to court records.
He is accused of burglarizing and damaging multiple structures at the Singleton Mobile Home business at 2001 E. Main St. in Farmington in between March 30 and June 18, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Gurley did not have legal representation on June 28.
The Farmington Police Department started the investigation on March 30, when the business owner told an officer an employee discovered multiple buildings on the property had been burglarized.
Some of the $77,000 in stolen property included a rock collection, $20,000 in "Indian artifacts," $10,000 in custom Persian rugs and $40,000 in "Indian hand-crafted property."
An unknown amount of authentic Navajo rugs were stolen during an April 24 burglary.
The crimes continued into May, which led investigators to install wireless cameras on the property.
During a May 24 burglary, crime scene investigators found a hole in the floor of a trailer used to access the building and remove items.
On May 26 and June 11, the cameras observed a male on the property but were unable to locate a suspect.
On June 18th, a motion alert was set off on the cameras, which displayed a man crawling from under the trailer.
Officers arriving at the scene found Gurley, who was wearing the same clothes as the male in the video footage.
Gurley had some Native American jewelry consistent with the jewelry stolen from the business.
He told police he stumbled across the property a few months earlier and found some Native American jewelry and artifacts. He also stated he was homeless and slept in the buildings.
Gurley added that he had a meth addiction and would use the stolen property to help pay down a drug debt.
He is being held without bond at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
Gurley's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of July 3 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.