ST. GEORGE – From a pawn shop theft to a hit-and-run collision in a stolen vehicle, a crime spree Wednesday led to a Washington County elementary school lockout along with the arrest of two individuals who have now been identified and officially charged for a variety of crimes.
Phillip Edwin Kennedy, 31, of Taylorsville, was charged with second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property; two third-degree felonies for retail theft and theft by receiving stolen property; four class A misdemeanors for failing to stop or respond at the command of police, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and possession of another’s identifying documents and drugs; and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Kazia Summer Ramsey, 25, of West Valley City, was charged with second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property and two class B misdemeanors for receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The couple’s luck ran out just before 1 p.m. Wednesday when Kennedy, who was driving a stolen silver Toyota Tacoma truck, allegedly crashed into a white car parked at 400 E. 700 South in St. George.
Despite heavy front-end damage to the Toyota truck and a popped tire, Kennedy fled the scene in the vehicle.
Witnesses were able to offer a description of Kennedy and Ramsey, his passenger, and the truck they were driving. Police were able to track the Toyota truck by following a fluid trail from the scene of the collision to an address near 1000 East in St. George.
From there, a witness in the area told police that a man and woman had stopped to inspect the damage to the Toyota Tacoma and then asked for directions to the nearest Wal-Mart.
Around 1:50 p.m., officers began circulating the area near the Washington City Wal-Mart. In addition to the hit-and-run collision, the Toyota truck also matched information from a retail theft incident that occurred around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at Discount Pawn, located on South Bluff Street in St. George.
Officers located the Toyota truck parked in a parking stall on the south side of Deseret Industries, 2480 E. Red Cliffs Drive in St. George. Kennedy took off running toward Texas Roadhouse when officers approached, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of his arrest.
Because of the close proximity to Sandstone Elementary, the school was placed on ‘lockout,’ the Police Department said, adding: “Lockout is when all exterior doors to the school are locked and no one is allowed inside.”
Ramsey was still with the truck and was subsequently detained. Ramsey told police she injured her back during the hit-and-run collision, the statement said. Medical personnel arrived on scene, treated Ramsey and released her back into police custody.
According to the probable cause statement, Ramsey had several items on her person, including a Samsung Smartwatch that was allegedly stolen from the pawn shop earlier in the day. Ramsey told authorities that Kennedy is her boyfriend and he had stolen the watch from Discount Pawn, the statement said.
Officers continued their search for Kennedy. They observed a man matching his description coming out of a retirement home on the 2600 East block of Red Cliffs Drive. Kennedy was detained and taken into custody without incident.
A witness told police she watched Kennedy hide a small combination lockbox as he was running through the Deseret Industries parking lot, the statement said. The lockbox was recovered and, when it was opened, police found jewelry and methamphetamine inside.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the license plates on the Toyota truck were reported stolen out of Salt Lake County. It was also determined that the Toyota Tacoma had been stolen out of West Jordan.
“I interviewed Kazia Ramsey under Miranda,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement, “and she informed that she knew that the truck was stolen from the old man named Ralph who lives in Salt Lake County.”
In researching Ramsey and Kennedy, the statement said, officers learned the couple both had active warrants for their arrest.
Kennedy and Ramsey were booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. They are scheduled to make their initial court appearances Thursday afternoon.
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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