Man arrested after reportedly saying he broke into a car because ‘he needed to go back to jail’

Composite image with background image by Thea Design/iStock/Getty Images Plus; overly stock image by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Taylorsville man, released from prison just weeks ago, was arrested in St. George on Wednesday after officers responding to a vehicle burglary call found stolen property in a rented moving truck.

Steven Lawrence Jacobsmeyer, 38, of Taylorsville, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, March 3, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, an investigator was called out to a vehicle burglary reported at the Maverik Adventures First Stop at the corner of St. George Boulevard and 1000 East in St. George, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

Detectives arrived to find the suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Steven Lawrence Jacobsmeyer of Taylorsville, being detained by police following a 911 call reporting there was a man matching Jacobsmeyer’s description allegedly breaking into a vehicle in the area of 700 North 1100 East just a few blocks from the convenience store.

According to the report, the suspect told officers he was in St. George with a few other people and together they were “going around burglarizing vehicles,” and he went on to explain he was recently released from prison and was out on parole. The suspect then told officers there were two stolen motorcycles inside a U-Haul truck parked at the Days Inn located across the street from the store. He then presented authorities with the keys and a copy of the rental agreement, the report states, showing the truck was rented by Sarah Rogers, a friend he reportedly traveled with to Southern Utah.

An agent from Adult Probation and Parole arrived and accompanied the suspect to where the moving truck was parked. Inside the truck, the report says they found two motorcycles, a red 2016 Yamaha and a black 2016 Honda, both of which were reported as stolen the previous day.

Agents also recovered multiple tools typically used to commit burglaries as well as a large bowie knife and a set of brass knuckles found in a tool bag, the report states. On the suspect’s keychain, officers found the key to the U-Haul as well as a modified key that is typically used to start a vehicle during a theft when the assigned key is not available.

Police say Rogers called the police department reporting she had rented a U-Haul and then let Jacobsmeyer use the truck to help move his grandmother’s belongings. When he refused to return it, she contacted authorities to report it as stolen.

Back at the hotel parking lot, a review of Jacobsmeyer’s cell phone revealed messages between the two that contradicted Rogers statements, and instead, police say, the texts implicated her as being an accomplice in the theft of the bikes.

Undated file photo of a U-Haul truck. | Photo courtesy of U-Haul International, St. George News

Throughout the course of the investigation, officers learned that Rogers needed money to help her husband who was due to be released from prison and had allegedly traveled to the area to steal a few specific motorcycles she had heard about, and once in St. George she met up with a friend and the pair left Jacobsmeyer one night to take the bikes and store them in the moving truck until they could return to northern Utah.

Over the next few days, police say the suspect said they continued to drive the truck to various locations in St. George thinking the U-Haul was equipped with a GPS tracking system that would have revealed its location.

Jacobsmeyer also told officers that earlier that same day, he “felt like he needed to go back to jail” so he broke into the white vehicle right in front of a couple of neighbors who yelled at him and then called police.

Immediately after the suspect returned to the moving truck, he called Rogers who reportedly told him to return to the Days Inn. From there, he said he voluntarily walked over to the convenience store where officers ultimately caught up with him.

At that point the suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing two second-degree felony counts of theft for the U-Haul since he was allegedly caught with the keys to the truck and admittedly drove it with the two stolen motorcycles inside.

He also faces third-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person as well as possession of burglary tools and vehicle burglary, each a misdemeanor.

In the report, the officer noted that “Steven also admitted to recently wanting to get into a vehicle so he could go back to jail,” and then requested that Jacobsmeyer be held without bail, citing an extensive criminal history, the fact the suspect was on parole and had only been out of prison for a few weeks and was involved in criminal activity after only being “in town for a couple of days,” the officer noted.

Utah State Prison, Draper, Utah, June 2007 | Public domain photo, St. George News

He was paroled from Utah State Prison the first time after serving 1-15 years on a case filed in 2013 involving the burglary of an apartment. While committing the crime, the suspect was confronted by the property owner whom he grabbed by the neck and pushed out of the way so he could make his escape with the stolen items. Court records reveal he pleaded guilty to the charges the following year and was sent to prison.

He would surface again five years later when police received a report of a suspicious person riding through a neighborhood “where he had no reasonable purpose to be in,” the officer wrote, and when officers encountered the suspect he provided a false name and was found with a 6-inch knife and tools commonly used during a burglary.

When asked, the suspect told officers he used the tools to repair his bicycle, a statement that was called into question when the officer noted in the report the tools “were not reasonable to use for fixing a bicycle.”

During the arrest, the suspect jumped out of the patrol vehicle and attempted to escape, telling police “he didn’t want to go back to jail,” the report states.

The suspect was subsequently booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Oct. 18, 2019, on felony possession of a dangerous weapon and escape from official custody as well as misdemeanor burglary offenses. He was released four days later, just hours before a judge issued a no-bail warrant for his arrest. But by the time it was received by the jail, Jacobsmeyer was already out of custody. He was picked up shortly thereafter and transported to Utah State Prison on a parole violation and was sentenced to 0-5 years in the case two months later.

Following Wednesday’s arrest, he is being held without bail as well as a Board of Pardons hold and remains in custody as this report publishes.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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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