Keaton Bell's schmucky decision: He stole guns from a SWAT team member

You've got to figure there are a lot of ways to piss off a member of a SWAT team. But here's one that's certain to be near the top of the list:

Steal his guns while he's fighting cancer.

That's what Keaton Bell did. And now, he's going to pay in a big way -- by spending as much as ten years behind bars.

Was it all because he was mad at his girlfriend?

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Here's the story, as outlined by the U.S. Attorney's Office, which handled Bell's prosecution.

The victim of Bell's gambit, according to court documents cited by the office, was a member of Eagle County's sheriff's office who's also part of the SWAT team. He lives in Gypsum, but he sometimes traveled to Denver for cancer treatment -- and his girlfriend would occasionally join him there.

A Colt M4 Commando .223 rifle.
A Colt M4 Commando .223 rifle.

This past October, said girlfriend gave a gal pal permission to stay at the detective's place in Gypsum while they were on the Eastern Slope. The latter accepted this offer and moved in along with her own squeeze -- 24-year-old Bell.

Before long, however, Bell and his significant other got into a fight -- and when he left, he took some stuff with him. Like, for instance, the detective's SWAT equipment, including a machine gun, a hand gun, ammunition and tactical gear. Some of the stuff was owned by the detective, while other items belonged to Eagle County.

By the time the detective discovered that he'd been ripped off, Bell was working for a mining company in Alberta, Canada. But investigators reached him, and after Bell gave them permission to search his truck, they discovered a leg holster the detective identified as his.

An ad for the kind of Glock taken from the detective.
An ad for the kind of Glock taken from the detective.

At that point, an arrest warrant was issued for Bell, and he was nabbed the next month as a "suspicious person" at a Glenwood Springs Walmart. The sheriff's office subsequently obtained a search warrant for Bell's truck, and they found a veritable arsenal inside: a Colt M4 Commando .223 fully automatic rifle, an EOTech sight system, a Surefire light system, a GemTech Halo suppressor, a Glock 9mm model 26 semi-automatic pistol and two .223 magazines, plus a Bersa .380 with holster. The last item was hidden in the truck's engine compartment.

Yes, they belonged to the detective -- and although none of the guns were smoking at the time they were retrieved, they might as well have been.

In the end, Bell pleaded guilty to one count of possessing stolen firearms and ammunition, as well as a charge of possessing a machine gun. Possible punishment when he's sentenced on August 22: Ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each conviction.

Not to mention membership in one of our elite Schmuck of the Week club.

More from our Schmuck of the Week archive: "Joseph Bosveld allegedly reacts to broken glass by smashing another one in guy's eye."


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