Footprints in snow lead deputies to vehicle burglary suspect

Stock image; footprint in snow is not related to this report | Photo courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Footprints left in the snow helped lead sheriff’s deputies to a Brookside man who now faces changes of theft and vehicle burglary.

Last week Washington County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Brookside to investigate a series of vehicle burglaries, according to probable cause statements related to the arrest.

A Mazda 6 was taken from one Brookside home and driven to another where a pickup truck was broken into Friday, the statements read. Footprints in the snow and mud showed that someone had walked from the Mazda to the burglarized truck.

Deputies photographed the footprints, which popped up again Saturday when another pickup truck was burglarized. Two guns – a handgun and rifle – were stolen.

The footprints, which matched the ones from Friday, went from the truck and across a field to the home of Dakota James Fredrickson, 21, who was known to have a history of burglary, according to court documents.

Dakota J. Fredrickson booking photo, February 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The deputies planned to knock on Fredrickson’s door and ask him some questions. Before that happened, however, Fredrickson drove by and the deputies flagged him down.

Fredrickson pulled over and was told his rights after stepping out of his vehicle. He was asked about three recent vehicle burglaries. Officers discovered that the pattern on the bottom of his shoes matched the footprints, according to probable cause statements.

After interviewing Fredrickson, deputies learned that he have been casing homes in the area, and had taken the Mazda 6 so he wouldn’t have to walk in the snow so much.

“Dakota said he felt bad about taking the guns, so he returned them today and left them on the door step,” a deputy wrote in one of the probable cause statements.

Fredrickson was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of vehicle burglary, three felony counts of theft, and a misdemeanor for the open container of alcohol deputies found in his vehicle when it was impounded.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

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