CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

SLCPD seeks public’s help in finding stolen museum artifacts

Nov 11, 2022, 5:00 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:22 am

The Roberts' stolen badges and insignias are pictured. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

(Salt Lake City Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department requested help Thursday to find two “priceless” police badges from the early 1900s. The one-of-a-kind badges disappeared along with other items in a 2013 SLCPD awards gala, and there have been no leads in the investigation since. 

Det. Michael Ruff of the SLCPD said the Department had “exhausted every place [the SLCPD] could find and every person [the police] could talk to.”

Ruff said the stolen badges are not the common “service badges” Salt Lake police have worn for over a century. These special gold editions went to a father-son-duo who led the Police Mutual Aid Association, PMAA, through 1955. The PMAA is a nonprofit that supports the families of fallen officers and organizes community events for the SLCPD. 

Only one of each badge exists, and they are engraved with the name of “John Roberts, Sr.” and “John Roberts, Jr.,” according to Ruff. The Roberts served a combined 83 years on the police force, starting in 1890.

Also missing is each officer’s service badge and cap insignia, an antique PMAA letterhead, PMAA booklets and possibly a copy of the PMAA letter of incorporation, according to an SLCPD press release.

Ruff said these badges belong back in the police museum to “preserve that history of our department as one of the oldest departments in the country.”

The Salt Lake Police Department has operated for 170 years. 

The police have directed anyone with information about the stolen items to contact the SLCPD public relations unit at PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com. 

Related: SLCPD joins other Utah agencies on TikTok

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SLCPD seeks public’s help in finding stolen museum artifacts