Police arrest ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect tied to church parking lot thefts

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — One of the suspects deemed “armed and dangerous” by police after stealing a car in Las Vegas, followed by items from vehicles in church parking lots in St. George, has been arrested.

A booking photo shows Larry Austin Warner, 35, who’s accused of stealing a car full of guns from Las Vegas and stealing finance cards from vehicles in St. George, Utah, Aug. 24, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Larry Austin Warner, 35, was arrested Friday night by St. George Police for four warrants and possession of a stolen vehicle. Warner is accused of taking finance cards out of at least two unlocked cars in church parking lots Aug. 19 after stealing a car with a large amount of guns in it from Las Vegas.

Read more: St. George police seeking ‘armed and dangerous’ couple accused of theft in church parking lots

Warner allegedly used the finance cards he stole from the cars in St. George several times. At one of the St. George businesses where Warner used a stolen card, employees of the business were suspicious, so they followed him out to his car and took a photo of it, according to the probable cause statement.

Using a warrant, police were able to track Warner’s location through his cell phone. The phone’s location was in Mesquite, Nevada, for several days before returning to St. George on Friday, when police arrested Warner at a Dairy Queen restaurant on Dixie Drive.

The stolen Saturn sedan was found abandoned in St. George. According to the probable cause statement, Warner admitted in an interview with investigators to driving the stolen vehicle and stealing the finance cards from vehicles in St. George.

Surveillance footage shows Larry Austin Warner and a female suspect, who are both accused of stealing guns and a car from Las Vegas, driving it to St. George and stealing more items from cars parked in church parking lots, St. George, Utah, Aug. 19, 2018 | Photos courtesy of St. George Police Department, St. George News

“He claimed he paid $40 to rent it from a friend in Las Vegas… (Warner) said he had abandoned the vehicle in St. George because he thought it was stolen and was afraid he would be caught in it,” the arresting officer wrote on the probable cause statement.

When he was arrested, Warner also had warrants issued by the 5th District Court in St. George in 2016 for sexual battery and theft of a rental vehicle. Warner was charged with felony charges for theft and using finance cards without consent, as well as misdemeanor charges for theft and burglary of a vehicle.

The female suspect who was with Warner has not yet been arrested as of Monday, St. George Police Captain Mike Giles told St. George News.

“The case is still pending,” Giles said. “She has been identified, but we’re not releasing her name at this point.”

Anyone with information on the pair or any crimes they may have committed is asked to to call St. George Police at 435-627-4300.

This report is based on statements from police 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.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Mild Winters August 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks very much to our Washington County law enforcement personnel who do an outstanding job day after day!
    I wish I could say the same thing about our Washington County Judicial System, but I can’t…
    This dangerous felon, his female accomplise (if and when she’s caught), and countless other convicted law breakers, seem to be given the lightest punishment possible in this county!
    Next thing we know they’re right back on the streets committing crimes…
    Don’t believe me? Start with this guy: keep track of what happens to him in the coming weeks and months…
    Learn for yourself what I’m talking about. The judicial system in Washington County is pathetic!!!

    • Real Life August 27, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      I agree. It’s got to be frustrating to the police as well. Way to often do we hear the words repeat offender.

  • Carpe Diem August 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Good catch, officers! One down, one to go!

    • RVer August 28, 2018 at 6:44 am

      This was great police work, and removed a threat to the community. The employees that caught on and provided the photo of his vehicle also did very well.

      The sad thing is that if he put as much effort into honest employment as he did his criminal efforts, he’d most likely be making good money and wouldn’t be in jail right now.

  • Carpe Diem August 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    While we have only two photographs to go on, this perp shows he knows how to dress like a real CLOWN.

  • youcandoit August 27, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Yes it is sad these hard criminals get released, however it’s due to over crowding and they’re trying to rehabilitate them on other avenues. Sometimes it takes a village to help people get back on the right path. What would Jesus do?

  • Mild Winters August 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    The answer isn’t slapping dangerous criminals on the wrist and releasing them back into an innocent society with minimal punishment (if any) for their crimes!
    The solution for overcrowding is raising taxes to build and operate jails and prisons. Is it a popular solution? Hell no it isn’t…
    Sending criminals back on the streets to commit more and more crimes isn’t a popular solution either, but that’s exactly what the judicial system in Washington County is doing on a regular basis!

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