2 in jail for alleged theft of rental vehicle for overdue U-Haul truck in St. George

Composite image with background image by Thea Design/iStock/Getty Images Plus; overly stock image by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two are in jail after a St. George bike patrol officer called on a moving truck that had been parked in front of a house for more than a week and found out it was a one-day rental from Oregon that was two weeks overdue.

In this 2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only, officers from St. George respond to Main Street during an arrest in St. George, Utah, Nov. 4, 2020 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

According to court documents filed in support of the arrest, on Friday afternoon a mountain bike officer noticed a U-Haul truck parked along the street in front of a residence located in the 200 block of Main Street that had been there for at least a week and a half, which the officer said he found unusual for a rental truck to be parked for so long without being returned.

After tracking down the moving truck, rented in Salem, Oregon, and speaking to one of the agency’s employees, the officer was informed that the truck had been rented by 23-year-old Goldie Elizabeth Bly on March 17. And according to the report, the truck was supposed to be returned to another rental agency in Salem later that same day.

The employee also told the officer during the telephone conversation that the truck had not been reported as stolen right away due to “COVID issues,” the report states. But the employee said the truck needed to be reported as stolen, and the company wanted to press charges against the woman who rented it.

The officer also noted that the house the U-Haul was parked in front of was likely where the suspect was staying, “due to the influx of transients that live there.”

When the officer knocked on the door,  a woman answered it but reportedly closed it as soon as she saw a police officer standing there. Seconds later a man who the officer recognized as 21-year-old Skyler Shire from previous run-ins opened the door, which is when the officer told them he needed to talk about the moving truck parked along the street.

Shire told police that his sister had used it to move to Utah from Oregon and explained he had used his credit card to pay for the truck which, according to Shire, he was still allowed to use under the terms of the rental agreement. As soon as the man finished the sentence he shut the door on the officer “and refused to talk to me,” the officer wrote.

Being that Shire reportedly admitted to using his credit card to pay for the truck and that he had details of the rental, including the location in Oregon where it was rented from, the officer believed they had enough to arrest him for possession of a stolen vehicle.

When the suspect went outside to dispute the issue, he was advised he was being detained, which is when Shire turned around and ran from police.

The foot pursuit was short-lived when several of the officers took off after the suspect and ordered him to the ground a few houses away, and when the suspect refused to comply, the report states, he was tackled to the ground and taken into custody.

A background check revealed a protective order that was filed by Bly in Washington State against the suspect in January, the same woman who shut the door on the officer minutes before.

Stock image of Interstate 5 in Salem, Oregon | Photo by Shane Cotee/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Shire was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing second-degree felony possession of a stolen vehicle and failing to stop at command of police, a third-degree felony. He also faces one misdemeanor count each of interfering with an arrest and the protective order violation.

During this time, officers began watching the house, the report states, which is when they noticed a woman, matching the description of the suspect who shut the door when initial contact was made, walk out the front door and approach a vehicle.

The report says the driver handed the suspect “an item” and then drove off. Following this, officers approached Bly who was allegedly holding a bag containing suspected marijuana, which is when they told her she was being arrested for the stolen U-Haul.

While speaking with police, she also allegedly admitted to using the U-Haul to move from Oregon to St. George.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.

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, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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