Owner’s GPS aids police in pursuit of car thief, arrest on multiple counts

ST. GEORGE – A St. George man was arrested by the St. George Police Department on Saturday after stealing a vehicle and leading police on a chase.

According to a statement, St. George Police Capt. Kyle Whitehead said that, around 5 a.m. Saturday, St. George Police responded to a stolen-vehicle call from Denny’s Restaurant at 155 N. 1000 East.  The victim, who was tracking the car with a GPS system, told dispatchers the car was traveling west on St. George Boulevard.

An officer responded to Denny’s and met with the victim. He learned that the victim had been approached by the suspect who was asking for help and needed some money.  The victim went into the restaurant to break a large bill to help the suspect out while his car, a black Mitsubishi Lancer, was left running in the parking lot. When he returned his car was gone.

An officer in the area of 700 S. Bluff St. noticed the stolen car being driven north on Bluff Street without lights.  The officer turned around and turned on his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the car.  The car did not stop and continued to drive over the speed limit.  The chase went north on Bluff Street, then west on Sunset Blvd., through Santa Clara and eventually onto Highway 91 near Ivins.

The pursuing officers stopped the chase as they lost sight of him after entering Ivins area on Highway 91.  A few minutes later the officer with the victim, who was monitoring the GPS, saw the vehicle was traveling east on Snow Canyon Parkway.  They passed the information on to officers.  Eventually the vehicle stopped near Lava Flow and 2000 North.  Officers arrived in the area and found it abandoned.

Near the vehicle, they found a male and female hiding in the bushes.  The female was detained and the male ran from officers.

“He came into my backyard,” said Kade Ence, who lives off of Tuweap Drive. Ence said his dog was going nuts as it barked at the suspect. He originally thought the commotion was being caused by a group of teenagers.

The suspect then went into the neighbor’s yard, Ence said. His neighbor was already outside, preparing to walk his dog. The suspect made it into the neighbor’s house and locked the man out, he said.

By that time multiple officers were in the area. Ence told an officer where the suspect was and officers surrounded the home. The suspect then ran out of the home.

The suspect continued running and refused to stop.  Two officers were able to get close enough to the suspect and used Tasers to get him to stop running. He was then taken into custody.

“We heard something, then moaning (from the suspect) outside,” Ence said.

The suspect was taken to the police station and was interviewed by a detective.  The male was identified as a St. George resident, and admitted to the crimes officers had witnessed that morning.  Additionally, stolen financial documents and identifications, burglary tools, and illegal narcotics were found in his possession.

During the interview, the suspect also admitted to stealing three other vehicles in the St. George area.  He was charged with those crimes as well, and booked in Washington County Jail on multiple charges, including a no-bail warrant.

No criminal charges have been filed against the female passenger at this time.

Whitehead told St. George News that aspects of the case are still being processed, and was unable to verify the role the woman played, if any, in the incident.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, 2012, all rights reserved.

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  • Tyler October 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Durr dur dur….Ima steal a car then drive with no lights on at night so I get caught! This is a case of Amercia’s dumbest criminals Lol!

  • Murat October 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

    What an idiot to have left his running, unsecured car next to a destitute stranger.

    • Dghws October 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Won’t rise to “idiot” until the mistake is repeated. Smart folks across this planet are ones who learn from their mistakes. Idiots are ones who don’t. Sounds like this one will learn as he was smart enough to have installed a GPS tracking device. Muhammad Ali said, “Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”

  • DoubleTap October 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    A good reason why panhandlers should not be tolerated in this City. If you are so inclined to be charitable, give to your local church instead. I have been confronted many times by panhandlers at WalMart’s, Albertsons, and various other business establishments. They usually claim they need it for food, at which point I offer to buy them a meal…which they quickly turn down. I have been confronted at gas stations asking for spare change for gas. I have offered to put a few dollars of gas in their vehicle right then and there….and they always decline the free gas. Makes one wonder what their real purpose for the requested money is for then. Things are not always what they seem…..At least the victim was not harmed in any way other than by his generosity being abused, in this case.

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