Elementary school placed on lockout during suspect chase

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ST. GEORGE – A series of criminal events – from a pawn shop burglary to a hit-and-run collision in a stolen vehicle – led to the lockout of a Washington County elementary school Wednesday along with the arrest of two individuals on a variety of criminal charges.

Just before 1 p.m., the driver of a silver Toyota Tacoma truck crashed into a parked vehicle at 400 E. 700 South in St. George. Despite heavy front-end damage to his vehicle and a popped tire, the man driving the truck attempted to flee the scene, the St. George Police Department said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

While witnesses were able to offer a description of the driver and his female passenger, police said they were able to find the Toyota truck by following a fluid trail from the scene of the collision to an address near 1000 East in St. George.

A witness in the area told police that a man and woman had stopped to inspect the damage to the Toyota Tacoma, the statement said, and then asked for directions to the nearest Wal-Mart.

Officers began circulating the area near the Washington City Wal-Mart and located the Toyota near Deseret Industries, 2480 E. Red Cliffs Drive in St. George. At that point, the male suspect ran on foot toward Texas Roadhouse. However, the female did not run and was detained by officers.

Because of the proximity to Sandstone Elementary, the school was placed on ‘lockout,’ the Police Department said, adding: “Lockout is when all exterior doors to the school are locked and no one is allowed inside.”

The man was located by officers at 2654 E. Red Cliffs Drive and was taken into custody without incident.

During the course of the investigation, the statement said, it was determined that the Toyota Tacoma had been stolen from West Jordan. It was also determined the vehicle in question was used in a theft at a Discount Pawn shop at approximately 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

As this report is published, the incident is still under investigation, and charges are pending.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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