2 in custody identified following armed robbery in Cedar City; third suspect still at large

ST. GEORGE — What started as an armed robbery in Cedar City evolved into a multi-agency incident that ensued for hours Friday morning as helicopters, a SWAT team and officers combed the area, eventually locating two of the suspects, who have both been identified by police, while a third remains at large.

Officers block the Leeds Exit in Leeds, Utah, during pursuit on southbound Interstate 15 following an incident in Cedar City, June 26, 2020 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

The incident began at a hotel in Cedar City just before 8 a.m. when a call to 911 reported that a man was assaulted during an armed robbery involving several suspects who then fled from the area in a Honda Accord. Initially, it was reported that there were four suspects, though authorities now have reason to believe that only three men were involved in the alleged crime.

During the incident, one of the suspects reportedly struck one of the victims in the head with a pistol and took a bag with a large amount of cash inside from the injured man.

Cedar City Police Lt. Jimmy Roden said the couple involved provided a detailed description of the suspects and the vehicle during a press conference held at the police department Friday, which assisted a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper in spotting the car heading south on Interstate 15 — and the pursuit was on.

Officers from multiple agencies assisted in the pursuit as the suspects continued south until they pulled off the roadway at mile marker 27 in Leeds. They then fled from officers on foot, prompting authorities to bring in additional resources, including Washington County Metro SWAT and helicopter support.

One suspect was arrested shortly after the car was abandoned, and after an extensive search, the second suspect was located and arrested by police.

The two suspects were later identified as Emmanuel Martinez and Carlos Reyes, both 20 years of age, according to a statement released by Roden Friday evening. Both were later booked into the Iron County Correctional Facility facing charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault theft and failure to stop at the command of a police

“We believe a third suspect is still at large,” Roden said Friday.

Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Brock Bentley told St. George News that deputies responded to assist in the multi-agency operation Friday. He said once the second suspect was spotted and later taken into custody, officers continued combing the area for the third.

Hours later, he said, “there is still a heavy law enforcement presence in the area with that third suspect still out there,” he said, adding that Washington County is only one of the agencies assisting Cedar City.

The two suspects that were taken into custody were transported to the Cedar City Police Department, Roden said.

With a suspect still at large, authorities are warning residents to be cautious of anyone hitchhiking or who appears to be suspicious, specifically in the Silver Reefs area or in Leeds. The “suspect or suspects” at large are believed to be Hispanic and about thirty years of age and should be considered armed and dangerous, Roden added in the release.

St. George News Reporters KELSEY COOKE and JEFF RICHARDS contributed to this report.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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