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BYU Police arrest man who stole LDS artifacts, documents

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 16:45:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY — According to court documents, surveillance video shows 29-year-old Kevin Schuwer of Orem stealing a historical photo of an early 20th century apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He's seen sliding the photo from a special collections room at Utah State University into his laptop case.

According to our partners at the Salt Lake Tribune, Schuwer is well known among rare LDS document dealers.

“One collector called him the next Mark Hofmann,” said Salt Lake Tribune reporter Nate Carlisle.

Hofmann is serving a life sentence for the murder of two people in the 1980s. He's accused of bombing them to cover his tracks in a series of forgeries of LDS historical documents.

“Mr. Schuwer was doing the nonviolent parts of what Mr. Hofmann did. He was perhaps forging documents and embellishing the authenticity of documents in order to make money,” Carlisle said.

According to a search warrant, Schuwer also admitted to entering BYU’s special collections room where he traded a fake photo for an original and sold it for $2,000. He also admitted to taking six rare books out the BYU library.

“He did admit to taking some items, but it also looks like police are trying to find corroborating evidence and figure out if his thefts might be even wider than what he's acknowledged at this point,” Carlisle said.

BYU Police arrested Schuwer Wednesday for seven counts of theft. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Schuwer has also settled a civil case out of Provo where he agreed to pay $539,000 for similar crimes.

To learn more, read Carlisle’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune here.