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Sandy gun thefts and drive-by shootings in Taylorsville are connected, police say

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 15:12:26-04

SANDY, Utah — Local police and gang detectives along with federal officials now believe they’ve solved at least two drive-by shootings and potentially the theft of several firearms from a gun store in Sandy.

The shootings occurred within a 48-hour time span during Labor Day weekend, and they were both directed at the same home in Taylorsville.

A few days later, on September 5th, police arrested 21-year-old Ramon Avila and 19-year-old Eddie Peralta in connection with those shootings. Police also recovered two firearms. Investigators arrested 19-year-old Javier Lopez a week later.

Gang detectives said Lopez knows Avila and Peralta, and they also said Lopez is the prime suspect in the theft of three handguns from The Armory, a shooting range in Sandy.

The case is still ongoing but police said these arrests are a good start.

"They were able to piece together and find three suspects, so we have three people in jail right now. Several stolen guns are off the street. We're working on federal charges on some of those guys - restricted people with firearms. This is dangerous stuff. They're out shooting up houses," said Sgt. Melody Gray, Unified Police Department.

Anyone with information that could aid police in their ongoing investigation is urged to call 801-743-7000.