Alert police officer recovers stolen vehicle, nabs 2 suspects

St. George News stock image | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Las Vegas man and woman were arrested on St. George Boulevard Nov. 20 after an alert police officer discovered they were in possession of a stolen vehicle.

Lee Estrada, of Las Vegas, Nevada, booking photo posted Nov. 20, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At approximately 9:40 p.m., an officer spotted a vehicle heading west on St. George Boulevard and ran its license plate through the state data base, according to a probable cause statement filed by St. George Police in support of the arrest.

The vehicle information returned as stolen out of Las Vegas, Nevada. While following the vehicle, the officer checked the plate two more times for verification the vehicle was stolen, the arresting officer wrote in the sworn statement.

The vehicle made a quick U-turn and headed east before making a quick right turn into the Econo Lodge parking lot located at 460 E. St. George Blvd, the report states. The officer activated his lights and conducted a traffic stop on the car.

The driver, identified as 31-year-old Emily Lynne Bennett, and her passenger, identified as 32-year-old Lee Estrada, were asked to step out of the car and were placed in handcuffs.

During an inventory of the vehicle, officers located heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, a knife and several items of drug paraphernalia, according to the statement.

Officers also located two stolen credit cards in Bennett’s belongings, the report states.

Emily Lynne Bennett, of Las Vegas, Nevada, booking photo posted Nov. 20, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Bennett and Estrada were arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Bennett of second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property; two third-degree felony counts of unlawful acquisition of a finance card; three class A misdemeanor counts of drug possession and possession of a dangerous weapon; along with three class B misdemeanor counts of driving on a revoked license and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Judge Eric Ludlow, of the 5th District Court, ordered $20,000 bail for Bennett’s release pending trial. She was found indigent by the court during her initial court Nov. 21 and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Douglas Terry. She is scheduled to make her next court appearance Nov. 27.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office has charged Estrada with second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property; three class A misdemeanor counts of drug possession, obstructing justice and possession of a dangerous weapon; and two class B misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Estrada was also found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Nov. 21 and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Edward Flint. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Nov. 27.

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: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor November 22, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Kudos to SGPD for solid policework. We can only guess what criminal behavior these two folks would have perpetrated here in Washington County, had they not been caught.
    Proactive policing avoids future criminal activities. Thanks!

  • Utahguns November 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you SGPD for getting these pieces of crap off our streets. The male definitely has Cro-magnon features.

  • ladybugavenger November 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Ok. Im going to they this: if you don’t want me to stereotype your neck tattoos then stop committing crimes!

    Get a job a….es! ( you’ve played the game before, fill in the missing letters 😉

  • comments November 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The neck tattoos def give this guy away as a felon. I’m sure he’s got a long history with mexican gangs down in socal. And he Gf is just a meth addict groupie for prison lowlifes. The guy will likely be a lifelong criminal

  • comments November 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    The woman has no neck tattoos. If she gets off the meth and stops hanging around losers she’s got a chance.

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