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U of U police sergeant helps professor find prized stamp collection

Photo: University of Utah Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY — A University of Utah police sergeant is being credited for helping an economics professor find his stamp collection.

Professor Minqi Li misplaced the stamp collection when his office was being renovated last year. Some of the stamps are rare, going back to the 1800s.

He recently discovered they were missing, but could not access the construction site where the renovation is still happening.

Sgt. Mark Veatupu convinced the crews to let them both into the office on April 22, 2019, but the professor and the officer discovered another problem: desks from other offices had been stuffed into Li’s old room.

“We just kinda dug through the furniture. I didn’t think we were going to find anything,” Veatupu said.

But they finally made it to the last desk.

“I was on top of a cabinet, and I was pointing my flashlight down at that last drawer. [Professor Li] had crawled down onto the floor, then he opened the drawer and found it,” said the sergeant.

Veatupu says he was happy to help the professor.

“As law enforcement officers, we’re here to protect and serve, but that serve also means going the extra mile in all kinds of cases. It doesn’t have to be a criminal case. It could just be something that helps someone out during that day,” he said.