Suspect accused of stealing car told police ‘she intended to return it’

Composite image | Photo by Stelsone/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A local woman is in jail after police found her in a stolen vehicle, which she allegedly said she had no permission to use but intended to return to the owner.

On Sunday, officers responded to a residence in the Dixie Downs area to investigate a vehicle theft report. While speaking to the reporting party, officers learned it was last seen in the owner’s driveway at 9 a.m., and when the owner looked outside roughly three hours later, the car was gone, according to charging documents filed in support of the arrest.

Officers also learned that the keys to the vehicle were taken from inside of the home, and the car was likely taken by an acquaintance of the owner, who sent a text saying the car would be returned soon. The suspect allegedly told the owner they had “a really good explanation” for taking the car, and would tell them later.  

However, according to police, the owner never authorized anyone to take the vehicle, nor had they given the keys to anyone. 

The car was entered into the national crime computer as stolen, and officers began scouring the area in search of the car, which was located a short time later heading north on Dixie Downs Road. 

After verifying the vehicle information with emergency dispatch, the officer got behind the car and noticed there were two occupants inside. The driver matched the description of the woman who reportedly took the vehicle. 

Kira Alicia Beatriz Avery, 24, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, May 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The officer spoke to the driver, later identified as 24-year-old Kira Avery, who admitted to taking the vehicle without permission but said she “intended to return it,” the statement said. 

She was taken into custody as officers conducted a search of the vehicle prior to the suspect being transported to jail, which is when they allegedly found tin foil and multiple used syringes that contained residue consistent with heroin. The suspect later admitted to police that she had used heroin recently, but she denied that the drugs and paraphernalia found in the vehicle belonged to her. 

Avery was transported to jail and charges were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office the following day, including one count of second-degree theft and misdemeanor drug charges. 

This is not the suspect’s first run-in with law enforcement. 

Avery has three recent misdemeanor cases that are still moving through the court, as well as a conviction from a 2018 case where the defendant entered into a plea and abeyance. 

That case involved an incident where officers were called out to investigate a report of a damaged vehicle.  

Police arrived to find a pickup truck with two smashed windows and a large dent on the hood of the vehicle. While speaking with the owner, officers learned that the suspect, later identified as Avery, was at the residence where the truck was parked and left after she became angry. 

Minutes later, she was seen throwing rocks at the truck, several of which smashed through the driver’s side and rear window, leaving a number of dents on the hood and side panels of the vehicle, according to police.

Police located Avery, who told them she was mad when she left the residence and admitted that she jumped on the hood of the pickup and continued jumping on it, creating the dents seen by officers. 

She also told police that “it took her getting a big rock” to break the windows, and then she showed them a video she recorded on her phone of her “jumping on the truck and smashing the windows,” the officer noted in the report. 

Avery was taken into custody and transported to jail on third-degree felony criminal mischief and an intoxication charge. The felony was later reduced to a misdemeanor when she entered into the plea and abeyance with the court. She is scheduled to make an appearance for that case in June. 

Following Sunday’s arrest, Avery remains in custody on $12,720 bail.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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