Kaysville firefighter out $19,000 after he was sold stolen piece of equipment

Dec 21, 2022, 7:09 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

LAYTON, Utah — A Kaysville firefighter is down $19,000 after he was sold a stolen skid steer and returned it to its owner.

Kacey Adams lives in Layton, Utah, working for the Kaysville Fire Department. He does construction work as a side job to bring in more income to help support his family and has been searching for a skid steer for some time.

“When there is a good deal out there, they go pretty quick,” Adams said.

He spotted one for sale on KSL Classifieds. Adams said it was listed as a 2013 Kubota.

“I called the guy, asked him some simple questions about the machine,” Adams recalled. “[He] gave me good answers. On the listing, it said he recently replaced the tires on it and done some other things to it maintenance-wise.”

Adams said the seller told him to meet at a Draper apartment complex parking lot after work.

“It was pretty rough, pretty dirty,” Adams said. “For the price, I didn’t think it was unreasonable.”

The skid steer was originally listed for $22,000, but with the condition, it was in, Adams negotiated that number down to $19,000 in cash.

The KSL Classifies listing of the stolen skid steer. (KSL-TV)

Adams took it home and spent several hours cleaning it up, but he said he had a gut feeling something was off with the deal.

“I looked up the serial number on the machine just to try and figure out what year it was. It came back as a 2019 skid steer.”

Adams then called Layton police and had them look up the equipment.

“They came out and ran it, and it came back and didn’t show anything,” he said. “That was because the people it was stolen from didn’t know it was stolen yet.”

Eventually, that skid steer theft would be reported to the Draper Police Department.

Adams said he took the skid steer to the fire department after finding a tracking device on it.

“If the person who owned it was going to track it, I didn’t want them to show up at my house,” Adams said.

At that point, he said he was almost certain it was stolen. A few days later, the original owner showed up at the fire department. Adams returned the skid steer to him, but he didn’t get his money back.

“People will ask, ‘Well don’t they come with a title? How did you not know?’ Well, they don’t have titles for heavy equipment, which is crazy to me because of how much money you spend on them, that there’s not a better way to track them,” Adams explained.

He and his wife contacted their insurance company and said they will likely never see that money again.

“There are two victims. You have the person who’s actually missing the item, and then you have the person that paid, and in this case, a lot of money for the item, and it’s often very hard to recoup that money,” said Lieutenant Pat Evans with the Draper Police Department.

Evans said Draper police worked with the Salt Lake City and Sandy police departments on this investigation.

“Sandy had another skid steer stolen. It was sold to a victim, and it came to them the same way,” Evans explained. “They were able to put together some information that made these two suspects for their theft. They reached out to us.”

Derek Clark Johanson and Tell Duane Hammerstrom were arrested following Adams’ stolen skid steer purchase and face theft charges.

“The way this pair of thieves work is they actually do it during the daytime,” Evans said. “They will actually find a skid steer at a construction site, take photographs of it, list it for sale. Once they have a buyer, they actually then go steal the skid steer and move the skid steer from the construction site to an area close by.”

Johanson has faced charges and been convicted multiple times for selling stolen pieces of construction equipment at a price that’s below market value.


Other listings for construction equipment on KSL Classifieds. (KSL-TV)

In 2021, KSL TV reported on a Utah County couple he allegedly scammed out of thousands of dollars after selling them a stolen skid steer.

“He’s done this so much, but yet he’s still out there and can continue to do it,” Adams said.

Adams and Evans said it’s frustrating to have repeat offenders continue to scam people.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, we had the criminal justice system that we have, so they’re given opportunities because oftentimes, criminals have some sort of addiction or something they’re fighting, which is why they’re committing the crime, and so there’s different steps that are taken by the justice system, and it takes a long time to put these people away for some of these serious crimes, Evans explained.

Adams said not having a skid steer will set him back on his construction projects. His family has organized a GoFundMe* for him to help make up for the missing cash.

“It was a lesson we learned the hardest way possible, and we just move on,” Adams said. “There’s nothing else we can do.”

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Kaysville firefighter out $19,000 after he was sold stolen piece of equipment