Joplin man charged with stealing firearm

Sep. 6—Officers looking into a report on the whereabouts of a stolen scooter contacted a suspect Tuesday who turned out to be in alleged possession of a stolen firearm.

Capt. William Davis of the Joplin Police Department said officers located a scooter that may have been stolen outside a residence at 1710 S. Wall Ave. A suspect reported to have been in possession of a stolen scooter was spotted ducking back inside the residence as police pulled up.

The suspect was arrested when officers entered the home and found a handgun concealed in a couch where he had been sitting and the gun proved to have been reported stolen earlier this year. Frederick B. Utter Sr., 59, was taken into custody and charged with stealing and unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon.

Davis said the vehicle identification number of the scooter had been removed, making it difficult to ascertain if it had been reported stolen. He said that remains under investigation.