Attempted retail theft balloons into 12 charges after suspect leads officers on multiple pursuits

ST. GEORGE — An attempted theft at Kmart Friday set in motion two separate foot pursuits through neighborhoods, houses and restaurants over the course of two days. The suspect, a Washington City man, was apprehended and arrested Saturday afternoon.

Officers in parking lot of Wingers after arrest Saturday, 188 S. River Road, St. George, Utah, Oct. 15, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Officers in parking lot of Wingers after arrest Saturday, 188 S. River Road, St. George, Utah, Oct. 15, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Just after noon on Friday Dustin Joseph Arnold was allegedly caught by store security stealing merchandise from the Kmart store on Bluff Street. The incident was seen on video surveillance.

Security called 911 to report the theft but Arnold fled the store on foot before police arrived, St. George Police Lt. Joseph Hartman said.

Responding officers gathered information and took reports at the scene of the crime.

Meanwhile, a resident called police to report a suspicious person in the area of 650 South soon after the retail theft was reported and provided a physical description of the man.

Officers responding to the suspicious person call realized that the description matched the suspect in the retail theft report.

As officers were searching the area, Arnold ran through numerous backyards and entered two residences trying to evade the officers, but he was spotted by police. At that point he jumped over a wall and disappeared.

Officers later found property that identified Arnold during a search of the area where the foot pursuit occurred, Hartman said.

Saturday afternoon, an officer driving in the area of South River Road and East 100 South saw Arnold near Five Guys Burgers and Fries and alerted dispatch as the man started running in the opposite direction, Hartman said.

Wingers Roadhouse Diner on So. River Road where suspect ran through restaurant before being arrested in the parking lot, St. George, Utah, Oct. 15, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Wingers Roadhouse Diner on So. River Road where suspect ran through restaurant before being arrested in the parking lot, St. George, Utah, Oct. 15, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Numerous officers responded to the area and began pursuing Arnold who then ran across River Road toward the Red Rock Commons retail center with officers close behind.

The fleeing man attempted to hide in the drive through of the Chick-fil-A before heading back across River Road toward Wingers Roadhouse Diner where he ran into the restaurant and through the kitchen area before exiting through the back door.

Officers were waiting for Arnold when he came out the rear exit of the restaurant. The suspect was arrested without incident.

Arnold was cleared by emergency medical services before being taken to jail.

The suspect was later transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. Arnold faces several charges including: one third-degree felony for retail theft under $500; five counts of failing to stop at an officer’s command, all Class A misdemeanors, four counts of trespassing, all Class B misdemeanors, and one Class A misdemeanor for trespass of a dwelling. He also had an outstanding Class A misdemeanor warrant from Fifth District Court.

Bail is set in the amount of $25,420.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or first responders 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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Posted in Local, News

2 Comments

  • .... October 17, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I admire our local police department they do a great job for the community. did this guy steal a pair of tennis shoes by any chance ? because he sure did a lot of running LOL !

  • .... October 17, 2016 at 5:10 am

    I apologize for any inconvenience caused by me commenting on this article Bob !

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