Man with multiple open cases arrested in BMW reported stolen by owner

Stock image | Photo by MattGush/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A suspect with a lengthy criminal history, including charges associated with other stolen vehicles, is back in jail after officers found the man in a BMW reported stolen earlier that same day.

David Keith Knowles, 30, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, March 23, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

On Tuesday shortly after midnight, an officer stopped a black BMW for a headlight violation. According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, the driver, later identified as 30-year-old David Knowles, was someone with whom the officer was “very familiar” from a number of previous interactions with him.

The officer also noted that Knowles was acting odd, avoiding eye contact and mumbling, and he appeared “out of it,” the officer wrote, as Knowles made an effort to conceal his hands while speaking to police.

The suspect reportedly first told the officer the vehicle was his and explained he was following another vehicle to the bank so he could get “lunch money” from the driver he was following.

The officer wrote that while speaking with Knowles, he was advised by emergency dispatch that the BMW was reported stolen earlier in the evening.

At that point the suspect was taken into custody. All the while, the officer said, Knowles was insistent on making a phone call first. During the search of his person a plastic tube was recovered that was consistent with the tubes sold at a marijuana dispensary in Mesquite. A label later confirmed it had contained marijuana at some point.

The officer also found a plastic baggie containing multiple pills, which later were identified as Oxycodone, along with a white crystallized substance consistent with methamphetamine along with a syringe.

The suspect was detained while the officer assigned to the vehicle theft responded to the scene to speak to the suspect, who allegedly said at this point that he knew the vehicle was not his and went on to explain that a woman he barely knew told him that he could borrow the vehicle and told him where the spare key was kept.

The officer said Knowles also stated he took off in the vehicle but said he was unaware that she was not the owner and had no legal authority to loan out the car.

“It was actually later confirmed that the female had absolutely no knowledge of the actual owner,” the officer wrote, “and it was unknown how David (Knowles) knew where the key was.”

The officer added that the car was parked in a heavily populated parking lot at the time it was taken. The car’s owner also reported that the vehicle was initially left unlocked and did not realized the spare key was left inside of the car.

Knowles was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he faces one second-degree felony vehicle theft as well as two counts of possession of a controlled substance, driving on a suspended license and possession of paraphernalia, each a misdemeanor.

A review of the suspect’s criminal background revealed several drug arrests and convictions along with multiple cases involving vehicle theft and burglary. The officer also noted many of the cases were filed recently and were still pending in the courts, including an incident in November when officers in St. George were contacted by the owner of a vehicle reportedly stolen. Authorities responded to the residence listed for the suspect, later identified as Knowles, and were soon joined by officers from Washington City, since the suspect was wanted in connection with a number of crimes there.

In this 2020 file photo St. George and Washington City Police respond to Main Street during arrest of David Knowles, Nov. 4, 2020 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

It was a Washington City officer who ultimately arrested the suspect following two foot pursuits with multiple officers that resulted in more than 20 charges filed against the suspect. The case is still being processed through the court.

Following Tuesday’s arrest, the officer requested that Knowles be held without bail, citing that the suspect appears to be a “consistent problem within in the community,” and has admitted to being an addict, which “requires him to commit crime in order to fulfill his addiction.”

This report is based on statements from court records, 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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