Monday, June 14, 2021

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Colusa man pleads not guilty to gun theft

A Colusa man accused of walking out of Kittle’s Outdoor and Sport Co. with a handgun last April has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Dejon Tyrone Stewart, 20, of Colusa, is charged with a single felony count of grand theft of a firearm. He is to appear in court on Sept. 2 for the setting of a preliminary hearing.

According to court documents, Tyrone Stewart, then 19, was captured on surveillance footage wandering around the store on April 1, before he allegedly reaches over the counter, opens the back door of a gun display case, and removes a black Glock G20 10mm semi-automatic handgun, which he conceals in the waistband of his pants.

Stewart, according to a statement of probable cause for a search warrant, moves to another less visible area of the store, where he is seen removing the handgun from his waistband before tossing the price tag on the floor.

A Kittle’s employee, who suspected Stewart of shoplifting, asked Stewart to leave the store, and took note that Stewart left in a red Mustang with large white racing stripes, which was later discovered at Stewart’s home.

During the investigation, the Colusa Police Department reportedly identified Stewart from surveillance footage and arrested him at his family’s Lurline home the following day.

Pat Kittle, owner of Kittle’s Outdoor, said it was the first theft of its kind in the 20 years the store has been open, and that store employees had noticed the teen’s odd behavior of pacing in and out of the gun room several times.

Although employees had confronted Stewart and discovered other items from the store stuffed down his pants, the theft of the gun was not discovered until after the Stewart left the premises and surveillance footage was reviewed, officials said.

Although law enforcement searched the home and vehicle, the gun was not recovered, Police Chief Josh Fitch said.

Stewart remains out of custody on bond, and is represented by a private attorney out of Sacramento, who is waiting on additional discovery.

According to court documents, Stewart was previously arrested in Fairfield for possession of stolen property.

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