When Kane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brent Smith returned home after church on Sunday, March 31, he noticed that his pickup was missing. Quick calls to family and friends made him suspect that the truck had been stolen. Smith contacted the on-duty Kane County deputies and the Big Water Marshal to have them watch for the vehicle.

It was only a short time later that Marshal Russ Johnson stopped the truck near Big Water. Marshal Johnson and Deputy Gray arrested the driver, Brandon Blass, 44, from Salt Lake City.

On Monday, March 25, Blass had parked his truck at the Kanab City Police Department and left a note indicating he was out of gas and money with instructions on how to contact his family to come get the vehicle. Blass explained to officers how he had hiked up Squaw Trail and then east to Johnson Canyon. He continued east near the highway until he arrived at Deputy Smith’s home Saturday night very cold and hungry. He spent Saturday night in Smith’s camp trailer where he found shelter, food and water. Blass entered the Smith’s home after he observed the family leave Sunday morning to attend church services. He located keys for the truck and took several items from the home, including firearms and money.

Blass was booked into the Kane County Jail with the following charges:

• Two counts of first degree felony for aggravated burglary.

• Eleven counts of second degree felony for theft of firearms.

• Two counts of third degree felony for theft of property.

He is currently being held in the Kane County Jail on a cash only bail of $166,950.

Kane County Sheriff’s Office encourages property owners to photograph and list serial numbers of all valuables so they can be easily identified. It is also recommended that you lock your homes and vehicles when they are left un-attended. There are always those looking for an opportunity to take advantage of what they might consider an easy target.