ST. GEORGE — A local woman appeared in court Friday accused of stealing the same vehicle weeks apart, prompting two agencies to conduct separate investigations in Washington City and St. George.
Zoie Fryer, 20, appeared in 5th District Court Friday facing two second-degree felony counts of theft of a motor vehicle and two misdemeanor counts of theft.
The charges stem from two incidents, the first of which took place Dec. 6 when officers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle that was located in the area of 280 North. They found a black Dodge four-door passenger car matching the description and tag number of a car reported stolen on Black Friday.
Inside the car, officers found a Walmart shopping bag containing merchandise and a receipt with the last four numbers of a Visa Debit card number printed on it. Officers were able to match the vehicle reportedly stolen to a car parked in front of the store after viewing surveillance footage, which also showed the license plate number that matched the vehicle in the report.
Officers also observed a white female in her early 20s who was seen exiting the vehicle. Once inside Walmart, the footage showed her purchasing items that closely resembled the merchandise found in the recovered vehicle and matched the debit card number found on the receipt.
The woman, later identified as Fryer, was located at her place of employment the following day where she was arrested and transported to jail by police. The vehicle was returned to its registered owner.
On Dec. 11, the defendant was released from jail. One week later, a warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear in court on the charges.
The second incident was reported two days after Fryer’s release when officers in Washington City were dispatched to a reported vehicle theft involving a black Dodge Charger on Dec. 13.
When the vehicle was recovered later, officers allegedly found a backpack and several mail packages belonging to the defendant who they discovered was in jail on the warrant issued for failing to appear on the charges in St. George.
Officers went to the jail to interview Fryer, who told police she found the keys to the Dodge on Black Friday, and said she drove it around “because her vehicle was in the shop,” the officer noted in the report.
She also said she was arrested Dec. 6 in St. George after the vehicle was recovered near 280 North, and was released several days later.
Fryer explained in the interview that she found out where the owners of the vehicle lived and went back to the home and took the vehicle a second time using the keys she still had in her possession.
Fryer also told police she drove the Dodge to Walmart in Washington City and purchased items matching what was listed on the receipt found inside of the car during the investigation in St. George.
At the time of the incident, the store reported that a number of items were not scanned or paid for while the suspect was going through the self-checkout, allegations Fryer denied during the interview with police.
The total value of the stolen items was found to be under $500, and since both the vehicle and the items from Walmart were allegedly stolen out of Washington City, one of the felony and misdemeanor charges listed in the report were submitted by detectives in Washington City.
Other than the recent cases, the defendant has no other known criminal history and remains in jail on $35,000 bail.
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