ST. GEORGE — A Nevada man is in jail after he was arrested for felony auto theft after allegedly passing a Utah Highway Patrol trooper going more than 100 mph on Interstate 15 near Cedar City early Sunday morning.
Just after 6 a.m., a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on I-15 near mile marker 58 in Iron County observed a vehicle that was caught on radar going more than 100 mph. When the trooper caught up with the vehicle he ran the license plates which and found that the car was stolen out of Las Vegas, Nevada, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
The trooper called for backup and pulled the car over when reinforcements arrived.
During the stop, the driver, later identified as 41-year-old Londell Teasley of Las Vegas, was arrested and transported to the Iron County Jail where he was booked on a second-degree felony for receive or transfer of a stolen vehicle, along with speeding and driving without a license.
During an interview at the jail, Teasley allegedly told the trooper that the vehicle belonged to his girlfriend, who “told him that if he didn’t return it she would have it reported as stolen,” according to the report.
The suspect remains in jail on $10,000 bail and the charges were submitted to the Iron County Attorney’s Office for review.
A $6 billion dollar problem
In 2018, the FBI estimates that more than 750,000 cars were stolen in the U.S., which is actually a 26-year downward trend from the 1.7 million vehicles stolen in 1991, when auto thefts were at their peak, the Insurance Information Institute reports.
Even so, that is an average of more than 2,050 automobiles stolen every day in the United States.
The report also revealed that Anchorage, Alaska had the highest vehicle theft rate of any U.S. metropolitan area, while California took five of the top 10 cities in auto theft and ranks No. 1 statewide, followed by Texas and Florida.
The Insurance Information Institute also reported that in nearly 230,000 vehicle thefts that took place from 2016-2018, the keys or fobs were left in the vehicle – a 55% increase over the previous three-year period.
In Utah, more than 8,300 vehicles were stolen in 2017, and only 792 of those cases were solved during that year — a clearance rate of just over 9%, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety 2017 Crime Report.
The report also revealed that more vehicles were stolen in August than during any other month that year, and the highest auto theft rates involved males between the age of 15-19.
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