Thanks to a tip from an alert TV viewer, Wheat Ridge police arrested a 64 year-old Erie man, in connection with the theft of a rare antique gun from a private museum in New Mexico in December of 2011.
Wylie Gene Newton reportedly attempted to sell the weapon—identified as a Colt Dragoon black powder revolver that dates back to the 1800s. It is valued at $20,000, on a reality TV show called “American Guns,” which is filmed at a gun shop in Wheat Ridge.
The viewer alerted New Mexico authorities after watching an episode of that first aired in December of 2011, in which a man named “Wylie” had taken two black powder revolvers into the shop to try to sell. Through the television footage and further investigation by New Mexico authorities, one of the guns was positively identified as the stolen antique revolver from New Mexico.
In February, the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Fe contacted the Wheat Ridge Police Department to request assistance in apprehending the suspect in the gun theft that they and the New Mexico State Police had been investigating.
Further investigation was conducted by the Wheat Ridge Police Department, with assistance from the Erie Police Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
On May 10, undercover detectives from the Wheat Ridge Police Department met with Mr. Newton in Erie, Colorado and offered to purchase the stolen weapon.Newton was subsequently arrested and the stolen revolver was recovered. Newton was jailed on the warrant New Mexico Authorities obtained and is being held in the Jefferson County Detention Center pending extradition proceedings.