Stolen vehicle triggers high speed chases, shelter-in-place advisory for SunRiver

Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Four Las Vegas residents were arrested Monday following high-speed chases involving three law enforcement agencies across Washington County.

Booking photos of (clockwise from top left) Lamalsikou Lowe, Tajha Avery, Cameron Patterson, Michael Thomas, April 29, 2019 | Photos courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Lamalsikou J. Lowe is charged with two class 3 felonies for evading police and possessing a firearm by a restricted person, two class 2 felonies for theft of a motor vehicle and theft of a firearm, two class B misdemeanor charges for possessing drugs and paraphernalia and a warrant from another state.

Tajha Avery, Cameron Patterson and Michael Thomas are each charged with class B misdemeanors for possessing drug paraphernalia and  drug possession. Thomas is also facing a fine for speeding and a class 3 felony charge for evading or fleeing by vehicle.

All four are Las Vegas residents and are being held at Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane awaiting bail.

Ogden area authorities contacted the St. George Communications Center at approximately 4:30 a.m., advising local police they had tracked a stolen vehicle to the area using OnStar GPS to a location southbound on Interstate 15. A Washington County Sheriff’s sergeant spotted the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop at mile marker 12.

The driver stopped the car, but then pulled back onto the road, with the sergeant in pursuit at speeds topping 100 mph until the officer lost sight of the vehicle near mile marker 2.

Shortly thereafter, OnStar again contacted authorities reporting the vehicle was located on Wide River Drive at the SunRiver housing development but was no longer moving.

St. George Police officers responded to the neighborhood only to find the stolen vehicle abandoned with an open and empty gun safe in the back. After learning from Ogden that there were indeed knives and a gun originally in the safe, officers immediately initiated a reverse 911 call to residents within a 1-mile radius of the scene.

Residents were advised to shelter in place and report anything suspicious.

As police began to set up a containment area an officer noticed a vehicle approaching with its headlights off. It stopped briefly, but sped off as soon as the officer approached. It was headed for Southern Parkway.

With the vehicle leaving their jurisdiction, St. George officers chose not to pursue.

A Washington County deputy spotted the vehicle heading east on state Route 7 at 106 mph. The deputy began pursuit and was soon joined by a Hurricane Police Department officer as the chase reached speeds in excess of 120 mph. A second Hurricane officer in the area responded and deployed tire spikes to the roadway just prior to the Sand Hollow Road exit.

The spike deployment was effective in disabling the vehicle,” said Graham Hancock, Washington County Sheriff’s Office public information officer. “Law enforcement officers with the assistance of the Washington County K-9 were successful in taking four individuals into custody.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement 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, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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