Report of stolen car in Enoch leads to felony arrest hours later

Stock photo, Cedar City News, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 20-year-old Enoch man, Joseph Miguel Torres, was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft after an alert citizen called police to report suspicious activity early Friday morning.

Joseph Miguel Torres, 20, booking photo posted in Iron County, Utah, Feb. 15, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

Police responded to a call at 5 a.m. reporting a stolen vehicle in the area of Wagon Wheel Drive in Enoch. The owner of the car told officers she started the car and left it running to warm up, and when she came outside approximately 10 minutes later, it was gone, Enoch City Police Sgt. Isaac Askeroth said.

Enoch Police officers and Iron County Sheriff’s deputies began canvassing the area in search of the vehicle but were unable to locate it at that point.

A resident called police about an hour later to report they saw an individual, later identified as Torres, walking along Midvalley Road near the Three Peaks recreation area.

“The witness who called said it appeared suspicious to see Torres walking that early in the morning and he was also waving motorists down to have them stop for him,” Askeroth said, “which prompted that individual to call in to report it.”

Responding deputies questioned Torres, who told them that he lives on Wagon Wheel Drive at an address in close proximity to where the car was stolen, according to the probable cause statement filed with the court in support of Torres’ arrest.

A short time later, deputies located the vehicle that was reported stolen on Midvalley Road.

The car appeared to be stuck in the snow, and deputies noticed fresh footprints nearby. The footprints were compared to the shoes Torres was wearing and were determined to be an “exact match,” according to the statement.

The combination of footprint evidence and his proximity to where the vehicle was taken and later found led investigators to believe Torres took the car.

“We suspect that Torres is responsible for taking the vehicle, but this incident is still under investigation,” Askeroth said. “We will know more as the investigation moves forward.”

Torres was arrested and transported to Iron County Jail where he was booked on a second-degree felony vehicle theft offense. At the time of this report, he remains in jail on $10,000 bond.

This report is based on statements from police 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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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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