District Court, West Jordan Department The Honorable Bruce C.
Lubeck No. 141400554
Alexandra S. McCallum and Wesley J. Howard, Attorneys for
D. Reyes and William M. Hains, Attorneys for Appellee.
Kate A. Toomey authored this Opinion, in which Judges Stephen
L. Roth and Michele M. Christiansen concurred. 
Dylan Devon Gibson pleaded guilty to theft by receiving
stolen property, a third degree felony. In connection with
the offense, the district court ordered Gibson to pay $13,
000 in restitution to Rocky Mountain Power
(RMP). Gibson appeals, arguing the
restitution award is not legally justified. We agree and
therefore reverse and remand.
Early in the morning on February 17, 2014, an unknown person
cut through the fence of an RMP substation and stole
approximately 200 feet of copper ground wire and accompanying
brass fittings. Later that day, RMP reported the theft and
damage to the police. The following day, Gibson sold the same
length of copper wire and brass fittings to Utah Metal Works,
a scrap metal recycler, for $65. Suspicious of the
transaction, a Utah Metal Works employee contacted the West
Jordan Police Department. The police investigated the wire
and fittings, photographed the materials, and sent them to
RMP for its review.
Three RMP employees viewed the images and determined the wire
and fittings sold to Utah Metal Works were indeed the same
wire and fittings that were stolen from RMP's substation
on February 17. The wire was painted gray, RMP's standard
practice for decreasing the resale value of copper wire. In
addition, the length and size of the wire sold to Utah Metal
Works were identical to the wire stolen from RMP; the number
of fittings also matched.
Gibson was arrested and charged with one count of theft by
receiving stolen property, a third degree felony. At the time
of his arrest, Gibson was riding a bike with a set of bolt
cutters used as a makeshift seat. Gibson claimed that a
friend had given him the bolt cutters and the wire and
fittings. He admitted he sold the wire and fittings to Utah
Metal Works but denied having anything to do with the initial
theft from RMP's substation. Consistent with this
statement, Gibson pleaded guilty based on the following
On or about February 18, 2014, in Salt Lake County, [Gibson]
sold several pieces of copper wiring and fittings to a scrap
dealer. [Gibson] had reason to believe the items, valued at
less than $500.00, had been stolen. Within the previous ten
years, [Gibson] has twice been convicted of enhancing
plea agreement, Gibson admitted to the following elements:
1) On or about February 18, 2014
2) in Salt Lake ...