Burglary suspects evade police across Southern Utah

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two men suspected in a series of vehicle burglaries, evaded police in both St. George and Leeds Monday morning even after crashing their SUV and abandoning it.

The suspects allegedly broke into three vehicles parked in the VASA Fitness parking lot at 484 North Mall Drive in St. George early Monday morning, following a similar incident that took place at the Summit Athletic Club on 1450 South Street on Sunday, St. George Police officer Tiffany Atkin said.

“This is just a case of smash and grab. People leave their purses and lots of valuables in their vehicles and people smash the window and steal it,” Atkin said.

Police were sent an “attempt to locate” alert around 7 a.m. Monday for a maroon Ford Explorer with California license plates, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jake Hicks said.

A UHP trooper located the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed north on Interstate 15 and pulled it over at Exit 27. The two adult male occupants gave the trooper their identification.

“He tells them why he stopped them, but they’re nervous because they don’t know if he knows what’s going on,” Hicks said. “Eventually they figure they’re in more trouble than just speeding and so they put it in drive and fled.”

The Ford Explorer that vehicle burglary suspects crashed into an embankment after evading police, Leeds, Utah, Jan. 7, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

The suspects turned around and headed south on I-15 and the trooper chose not to pursue the SUV since he still had their identification.

The suspects took Exit 24 into Leeds at a very high speed. Unable to stop, they ran a stop sign and crashed into an embankment on the other side of the intersection and fled on foot.

UPH troopers were nearby and found out which way the men had run, set up a perimeter and called for K9 units from Cedar City.

Police then received a 911 call reporting that the suspects ran through someone’s yard before getting into a silver Buick Enclave and heading south on I-15.

UHP impounded the vehicle and is conducting the crash investigation for the incident.

The suspects made their way back to St. George and were spotted by a St. George Police officer at the Bluff Street overpass, Atkin said.

The officer followed without activating his lights as the suspects got back onto I-15 and headed south. The driver was exceeding the speed limit and driving in a reckless manner so the officer chose not to pursue them.

“We don’t pursue vehicles unless the situation warrants it,” Atkin said. “Based on their driving pattern we chose not to initiate a traffic stop. We didn’t feel like it was going to be safe for the public so we just let the vehicle go.”

Police are investigating the incident and searching for the suspects.

Anyone with information should contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • utahdiablo January 7, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Try the smash and grab at my house…you’ll be going to the morgue

  • Carpe Diem January 8, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Oh, this is funny! Wish the posse would give up the bandito’s names to the public. That Ford is a sweet ride, left it hanging on the hill, what a couple of soyboy felons! I bet their mom’s and gf (probably don’t have one tho) are gonna be ticked off. Easy enough to track them down now! Unless they flee to Mexico.

  • mshaw January 8, 2019 at 6:06 am

    What happend to the tire spikes and pit maneuver? Great job to all the police agencies who participated in the non arrest!!!!! Meanwhile these clowns are doing it to someone else

    • Carpe Diem January 8, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Yeah, I would have been good with them being pitted in The Gorge and dropped off some cliff.

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