Man, ex-wife arrested after string of aggravated robberies in Salt Lake County

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 20:35:55-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Cottonwood Heights police arrested a man and his ex-wife Thursday in connection with a series of armed robberies in Salt Lake County over the last few weeks.

Matthew Alan Kuepper and Kellie Kuepper were taken into custody Thursday afternoon after a pursuit through parts of Cottonwood Heights, Murray, Midvale and Sandy.

Police caught up with them after receiving reports of aggravated robberies committed at LA Nails in Millcreek and a Papa John's Pizza restaurant in Cottonwood Heights. According to a probable cause statement, the pursuit ended when the Kueppers were trapped in traffic and both were taken into custody without further incident.

Cottonwood Heights police took both Kueppers to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office for questioning. The probable cause statement for Matthew indicates he was read his Miranda rights before he confessed to committing aggravated robberies at the following dates and locations:

June 7 - Papa Murphy's near 900 E 5600 S
June 9 - Papa Murphy near 2300 E 3900 S
June 10 - Papa Murphy's near 7000 S Redwood Rd.
June 18 - Subway near 7173 S 700 W
June (exact date not given) - Jamba Juice 5578 S Redwood Rd.
June 18 - Papa Murphy's near 1927 E Fort Union Blvd.
June 23 - LA Nails near 1779 E Murray Holladay Rd.
June 23 - Papa John's Pizza near 1844 E Fort Union Blvd.

Friday, an employee at Cartridge World, which was among the businesses robbed, spoke about her encounter with the suspects.

“So he came in, I thought he was a normal customer, so I said 'hello,'" said Kayla Reeves. "And then he asked me if I would open the register please, and obviously in my head I'm like: Wait, what? Then he pulled out his gun."

Reeves said she was working the register when the robbery occurred.

"As he was taking the money out, he was like, 'I'm so sorry for this, I'm never, I don't plan on hurting you or anyone here,'" Reeves said.

In each of the alleged robberies, the probable cause statement said, Matthew Kuepper stated he brandished a black plastic firearm replica, demanded money, then fled with the money to a waiting vehicle. Kuepper told police he occasionally borrowed Kellie Kuepper's car and that she rode with him on other occasions.

".. He’s still victimizing people, victimizing businesses, he’s making the community less safe, so, you know, they look at that just as serious as a real weapon," Sgt. Ryan Shosted of Cottonwood Heights PD said of the suspect's use of a toy gun.

Kuepper stated he robbed the stores to support his heroin and crack cocaine drug use, the statement said.

"There definitely was motivation of drugs involved for the crimes they were committing," Shosted said.

Matthew Kuepper faces eight first-degree felony charges of aggravated robbery and Kellie Kuepper faces two first-degree felony charges of aggravated robbery.