Provo Antique Shopkeeper Nabs Thieves Who Stole 1880’s Doll
PROVO, Utah – A valuable antique doll stolen from a shop in Provo is back where it belongs, thanks to a quick-thinking shopkeeper, a little bit of luck and a couple of confused criminals.
At the Cat’s Cradle Antique store on Provo’s Center Street, you’re greeted by hundreds of rare and interesting items.
“Everything kind of has a story,” said Gary Killpack, an associate at Cat’s Cradle.
The antique dealer knows his stuff. Killpack’s worked with antiques since the early 90s. He says it’s not unusual for people to come in and try to sell stuff. So, on Aug. 31, when a couple walked in, he agreed to look at what they had.
“They were trying to sell a lot of other dolls that were worthless,” Killpack said.
He says the couple left and then he noticed the precious porcelain doll was missing.
“We noticed it was one, about three minutes after they had disappeared,” he said.
The rare French doll made in the 1880s is worth almost $7,000 and on loan from a woman in England.
“We immediately called police,” he said.
Killpack thought he’d seen the last of the couple and the doll until just recently.
“They came back and they started showing us stuff they wanted us to buy and they pulled out this pair of candlesticks and I immediately recognized our tag on it,” Killpack said. “They had been stolen months before.”
That’s when the shopkeeper-turned-sting-organizer put on his best poker face.
“I just said, ‘there’s stuff that’s interesting here, maybe you can come back when the buyer is here.’”
The so-called buyer just happened to be a few Provo police officers whom Killpack had called.
“I told (the couple) their appointment would be at 10 a.m. the next day and they came back. The police got a search warrant for the truck they had brought and when they searched the truck, they found the doll.”
Michael Cummings and Kimberlee Gribbon were arrested on Sept. 18, and now face felony theft charges.
As for the doll, her story perhaps just got a little more interesting.
“She’s got this great history,” Killpack said. “Now, it’s just one more knot in her little historical belt.”
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