Suspect charged with multiple felonies after allegedly being caught breaking into cars at Dixie State University

Dixie State University Police cruiser, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man is in jail facing multiple felony charges following an early-morning arrest after he was allegedly found in a parking lot near Dixie State University and was later linked to a series of burglaries.

The incident began when the Dixie State University Police Department received a call Wednesday reporting that a locker located in the  Human Performance Center building was broken into and a debit card was missing.

As officers were following up on the locker report, the department received a call that the same debit card was used at one of the Adventure’s First Stop Maverik stores near the campus, Dixie State Police Chief Blair Barfuss told St. George News.

Video surveillance showed a man, later identified as 21-year-old Terek Fleming, enter the performance center building where he proceeded to try a series of locker doors before reaching one that he was able to get into, and shortly thereafter, he was seen leaving the building.

Hours later, officers were alerted to a “suspicious” person in the parking lot who appeared to be scouting the area and checking for unlocked vehicles. Officers responded and recognized the suspect from the surveillance footage captured in the performance center. He was detained while police were in the process of confirming he was the same individual who was captured on the footage.

Terek Wesley Fleming 21, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Through the course of the investigation, Barfuss said, officers were able to confirm that Fleming matched the suspect who entered the performance center and that he was allegedly the same individual who broke into at least four cars in the parking lot shortly thereafter.

Early Thursday morning, he was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility. Less than nine hours later, he was charged with seven third-degree felonies, including one count of burglary of a building, two counts of knowingly using a financial card for services/goods and four counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card. He also faces three misdemeanor charges, including two counts of vehicle burglary and one for theft.

The entire incident took place over the course of a few hours, Barfuss said, adding “it was just one big long criminal episode with this guy.”

Less than two weeks ago, the suspect had another run-in with the police after officers responded to the Sands Motel on St. George Boulevard to assist with a vehicle that was reportedly involved in an assault case earlier that same day. They arrived to find a man, later identified as Fleming, walking away from the vehicle who was later arrested for felony drug possession and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Following Thursday’s arrest, the suspect remains in jail on $32,750 bail.

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

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