2 women face theft and drug charges after pit stop in Southern Utah

Stock image | Photo by Barbol88/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two seemingly unrelated incidents led to the arrest of two women who are now facing multiple felony charges for theft and drug offenses allegedly committed during a short visit to Southern Utah.

The arrests followed a reported vehicle burglary at a fitness center Monday on Mall Drive. Responding St. George Police officers viewed video surveillance that showed a woman, later identified as 33-year-old Jordan Dente, of Orem, arriving at the fitness center where she was allegedly observed unsuccessfully attempting to get into a vehicle in the parking lot.

The footage then showed Dente entering the fitness center for a second time where she went to the property bin area of the gym and took two sets of keys and a bag or purse, according to the probable cause statement written in support of her arrest.

Police state that Dente managed to get into one of the vehicles using the keys and was subsequently observed taking a firearm and other items from the car.

The following day, police were dispatched to a reported drug overdose on South Airport Road involving a woman who turned out to be Dente, according to the statement. She was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.

Jordan Dente, 33, of Orem booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, June 26, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

In the meantime, a second call to police reported another woman, later identified as 28-year-old Halei Ludlow, of Spanish Fork, found in a restroom in the same location where she also appeared to have overdosed.

While en route to the call, police were advised Ludlow was conscious and was allegedly seen fleeing the area on foot, leaving behind a backpack that was later found by responding officers.

During a search of the backpack, police allegedly found some of the items stolen from one of the vehicles parked at the fitness center the previous day. Officers also found Ludlow’s vehicle, in which they say they observed a business card in the name of an individual whose car was broken into at the fitness center, along with a hat that matched the one Dente was wearing in the surveillance footage.

Officers later located Ludlow inside of a business that was still under construction. When questioned by police, she allegedly admitted to taking Dente to the gym to work out but said she waited in the car while Dente was inside.

She told police Dente returned with “a bunch of bags,” according to the statement, but denied have any prior knowledge of the alleged crime.

Halei Ludlow, 28, of Spanish Fork booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, June 26, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

In another bag in Ludlow’s possession, officers allegedly found a Macbook Pro and an iPad that were stolen during the vehicle burglaries. Officers also found a baggie containing heroin, according to the probable cause statement written in support of Ludlow’s arrest.

Ludlow was arrested and booked into jail on felony charges of theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance. She also faces misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Dente was also taken into custody after her release from the hospital. During an interview with police, she allegedly admitted to being the individual in the footage from the fitness center and then abruptly requested an attorney, at which point the interview was terminated.

According to police, the combined value of the items taken during the reported theft at the fitness center was over $4,500.

Dente was booked into jail on three felony theft charges. She also faces three misdemeanor offenses, including vehicle burglary, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia, in addition to an active felony warrant issued out of 4th District Court in Provo. Court records show two recent prior theft convictions, which enhanced the theft offenses from misdemeanors to felonies.

Both defendants are scheduled to appear in 5th District Court Friday and remain in custody on $15,000 bail each at the time of this report.

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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