ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was arrested after officers found him sitting in a reportedly stolen vehicle off the shoulder of the Exit 13 on-ramp of Interstate 15 in Washington City Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, officers were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle that was stopped by the Exit 13 on-ramp where they found a 2020 Chevrolet Malibu with two spare tires and a third tire that was completely flat with the wheel ground down to the rim.
The driver initially refused to give officers his name, and when pressed, he identified himself to police as “Benjamin Franklin,” which officers knew was a fake name, the officer noted in the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
With the suspect still unidentified, officers ran a check on the vehicle, which is when they learned it was reported as stolen out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Upon further questioning, the driver allegedly admitted to stealing the car from a car dealership in Las Vegas, Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams said.
The suspect also reportedly told officers the car’s tires were damaged as he was fleeing the dealership. He went on to say the car rolled over spike strips located at the car lot, Williams said, which punctured three of the tires, two of which were replaced with spares, while the third was destroyed during the drive to Utah
As to the condition of the tires, Williams said “they were destroyed. I have no idea how he made it into Utah riding on them.”
All told, the damage to the vehicle was estimated to be in excess of $1,500, according to the report.
The driver was arrested and transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be medically cleared before being transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility, which is where the suspect was ultimately identified as 41-year-old Benjamin English of St. George.
English was then booked on second-degree felony possession of a stolen vehicle, third-degree felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor count of giving false information to a peace officer.
The suspect remains in custody on $15,000 bail.
This report is based on statements from police or other responders 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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