Alert detective spots stolen truck, triggers foot pursuit

St. George Police officers secure scene where stolen truck was abandoned off Valley View Drive, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two suspects were detained after a detective noticed a stolen truck pass him as he made his way to work Tuesday morning, triggering a foot pursuit that injured one suspect and sent another to jail.

Shortly after 7 a.m. officers were dispatched to the area of West Valley View Drive near 300 North on a report of a stolen pickup truck, St. George Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Tiffany Atkin said.

However, the incident began seven hours earlier when the pickup was reported stolen just after midnight from an area between Little Valley and the St. George Regional Airport. An alert to be on the lookout for the truck was sent out to patrol.

A detective reviewing the messages from the overnight shift noted the stolen truck alert just as he was heading out for work Tuesday morning, and within minutes, he observed a pickup matching the description. After confirming it was stolen through a license plate check, the detective called for additional officers and began trailing the pickup truck.

“The detective got behind them and began following the truck without any lights or sirens and waited until backup arrived,” Atkin said.

St. George Police Officers secure scene where stolen truck was abandoned off of Valley View Drive, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

As multiple units made their way to the area, the driver pulled the truck over, and both he and his passenger jumped out and started running from the scene. Officers were close behind, and the foot pursuit ended quickly with both suspects in custody.

An ambulance was called to the scene after one of the suspects complained of pain in both of his ankles. He was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center and was admitted for evaluation and treatment for his injures. The second suspect was placed under arrest for  outstanding warrants and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Authorities found a number of items during a subsequent search of the truck that were reported stolen in earlier thefts and vehicle burglaries, Atkin said, which will likely lead to additional charges as the investigation progresses.

Officers were also assisted by several bystanders, she said, which helped to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

Atkin added that offenses involving the theft or burglary of a vehicle is a crime that officers deal with routinely. Securing the vehicle and “taking the keys with you” is one of the best ways to prevent the types of loss or damage typically associated with this type of activity.

Removing any valuable items from the car is another important practice that can reduce the risk of having that property stolen, as well as the inconvenience of having to obtain new identification and credit or banks cards as well.

“We get reports of vehicle burglaries where the victim tells us they hid their purse or wallet inside of the car, and they thought it was safely hidden,” Atkin said. “These guys know what they are doing, and they will find your valuables because they know where to look.”

“If you value it, take it with you,” Atkin said

There have been 95 vehicles reported stolen in 2018 to date, according to monthly data obtained from the police department.

Similar warnings have been released in other parts of Utah as well. It only takes seconds to break into a vehicle and theft from cars is more common than some may think.

“The people in our communities have better opportunities to prevent their cars from being stolen or burglarized than we as officers could ever expect to have,” said Randy Sutton, 33-year police veteran and national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety.

There are ways to protect a vehicle and valuables, including these tips from Insurance Hub:

  • Lock the doors and close the windows; this may seem obvious but make it a habit to double check that you have done it.
  • Keep car neat and tidy – otherwise, thieves may believe there are valuables among the mess.
  • Stow cords and adaptors out of sight and remove tell-tale signs.
  • Hide any valuables, or better yet, avoid keeping valuables in the car.
  • Never leave the car running.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Get a car alarm and theft deterrents.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency 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.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

 

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1 Comment

  • and July 31, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    St. George’s vision for a large, metropolitan, contemporary City forgot to include the crime wave. No more small town atmosphere, just more building with water/electrical/sewer restrictions and other infrastructure breakdowns.
    Big city thinkers ruining our way of life. Someone is getting rich off this. Drugs, gangs, and the homeless are now an accepted part of our city and our lives. Sad.

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