Man arrested after high-speed pursuit in classic car through 3 states

Mesquite Police Department vehicle, Mesquite, Nev., Aug. 9, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Mesquite Police officers arrested a St. George man after a foot chase and a pursuit that began in St. George and ended in Mesquite, Nevada – a chase that involved triple-digit speeds in a stolen vintage car.

Franklin Sanchez, 29, of St. George, was arrested for allegedly stealing a car in Utah and fleeing officers in Mesquite, Nev., April 25, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

The suspect was identified as 29-year-old Franklin Sanchez.

The incident began with a 911 call from the owner of a 1971 pearl white Mercury Cougar, which he said had been stolen from the parking lot of an automobile repair shop in St. George just before 11 a.m. Wednesday.

St. George Police officers spotted the car near 900 East and Red Hills Parkway, St. George Police officer Lona Trombley said.

Police began following the car and after Sanchez ran several red lights and stop signs  in an apparent attempt to flee police, a short pursuit took place before it was terminated minutes later as a safety precaution.

“There was heavier traffic and it was during morning hours, so the pursuit was stopped in the interest of public safety,” Trombley said.

The car was then spotted by another officer who observed the Mercury entering Interstate 15 heading south.

The St. George Communications Center sent out an alert to surrounding agencies, including Mohave County, Arizona, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, as well as the Nevada Highway Patrol and Mesquite Police in Nevada, advising them to be on the lookout for the car.

The car continued south reaching speeds of more than 100 mph as troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety pursued the car when it entered Arizona, and were then assisted by Mesquite Police and the Nevada Highway Patrol as it approached the Nevada border, Mesquite Police officer Quinn Averett said.

EMTs were dispatched from Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire and Rescue as a precaution.

Averett said the pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns when Sanchez entered Mesquite.

A short time later, Sanchez stopped the car near First North Street and fled on foot.

Meanwhile, police established a perimeter around the area while alerts were released notifying the community that a suspect was evading police. Mesquite schools were notified and placed on lock down.

Approximately two hours after Sanchez entered Nevada he was located by officers and taken into custody around 1:30 p.m. MST, Averett said.

The investigation by Nevada authorities is ongoing and criminal charges will be released at a later time, Averett said.

Trombley said Sanchez will also face charges in Utah and added that he is also wanted for questioning in a prior case involving a stolen vehicle.

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.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • Real Life April 25, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Nice. Felonies in 3 states. Hope the owner got his car back in good shape. And I hope this piece of trash doesn’t see the outside world for years.

    • ladybugavenger April 25, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      I dont want to offend anybody lol. If you call a mexican trash are you a racist? I’m just trying to learn the rules. ?

      • comments April 25, 2018 at 8:02 pm

        The rules of political correctness are: you can only call white people trash. Otherwise YOU ARE A RACIST. Can’t make this stuff up.

        • ladybugavenger April 26, 2018 at 8:56 am

          What the world is showing me is: only white people can be called racist. Lol. K. Got it. Cuz I said mexican at work and 2 people told me it’s not politically correct. One 20 year old called me a racist… hello? We are different races. All I said was that mexican customer over there. Geeeeeeze. I’ll stop calling people mexican, Asian, white, native american and so on as soon as the government and employers, and doctors stop asking me what race I am on every form I fill out ?

      • Real Life April 26, 2018 at 8:30 am

        I don’t care if he is white, black, hispanic, or from mars. He is trash!

        • ladybugavenger April 26, 2018 at 10:14 am


          • Striker4 April 26, 2018 at 3:19 pm

            can we still say Mexican Restaurant or say Mexican Cuisine or Mexicans are from Mexico or say Mexican Hat Dance…is eating at Taco Bell racist ?

          • ladybugavenger April 26, 2018 at 8:27 pm

            I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to say I’m white ?

  • utahdiablo April 25, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Well I guess that “auto repair shop” must have fixed the 1971 Cougar if it could do 100 MPH!…..just next time don’t leave the keys in it ok?

  • justsaying April 25, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Well they do say “drive it like you stole it”

  • Carpe Diem April 26, 2018 at 5:23 am

    Well, now cops know how to set up a bait car!

  • Striker4 April 27, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Non white lives matter ! LOL

  • mctrialsguy April 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Franklin…there you are, we bin’ lookin’ fo ya’

  • comments April 27, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I bet the guys nickname is Franklin “dirty” sanchez

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