Police search countywide for fugitive theft suspect
Several Carbon County police agencies continue to search for a suspect who evaded police on foot last Saturday night, following a middle of the night high speed car chase. While both the East Carbon and Price City police departments report active leads in the case, which does involve a stolen vehicle, no arrests have been made at this time.
"We are both following separate leads," said Price Police Detective Brian Judd, discussing the Price and East Carbon departments, during a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. "It is possible an arrest could come from that."
The vehicle, which was stolen from Extreme Automotive in Price, came to the attention of local law enforcement when East Carbon Police Officer Shawn Sackett reportedly witnessed a 1986 Chevrolet Camaro racing a Chevy Lumina on State Road 123 heading toward East Carbon.
Upon noticing that the Camaro had no temporary tags or plates, Officer Sackett initiated a traffic stop near the C Canyon turnoff at approximately mile post 3.
"The vehicle failed to yield and began to take off," explained Sackett, the day after the suspect's escape. "I gave the vehicle some space as he moved into the city because speeds had reached approximately 95 miles-per-hour."
The speeding vehicle led officer Sackett through East Carbon and nearly into Sunnyside before the suspect made a move into city's residential area via Denver Ave.
According to Sackett, the suspect quickly turned onto the unpaved Golf Course Road where the chase would dead end.
"When he spun out at the end of the road, the suspect fled on foot," explained the East Carbon Officer. According to later reports from the Price PD, the vehicle suffered approximately $3,000 worth of damage from the theft and subsequent off-road car chase.
"The bulk of the damage came from the chase in East Carbon as well as the broken window which we later determined took place during the theft at Extreme Automotive," said Judd.
The Price Officer reported that upon learning of the missing vehicle, Extreme personnel were contacted, subsequently locating broken glass on their property.
As for the foot pursuit, several factors kept Officer Sackett from going after the suspected car thief. Because the officer had worked a double shift, his mobile radio had reached the end of its battery life, leaving him no way to communicate with dispatch or other officers.
Additionally, the vehicle's starting mechanism had reportedly been tampered with by the suspect, allowing the Camaro to be started without keys.
"We are taught to never leave a vehicle unattended if can be re-started without keys," explained Sackett. "There is always the chance the suspect could double back and take off if you leave the car unattended."
Despite the use of state-of-the-art infrared technology, courtesy of the Carbon County Sheriff's office, the initial search came up empty and local officers had to turn to the crime's evidence to assist in apprehending the suspect.
"Again, we are still on the lookout," said Detective Judd. "And we really would appreciate any tips the public could give us concerning this case."
According to Officer Sackett, the suspect is male, of medium height and build and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans when he fled the vehicle during the early morning hours of Feb. 19.
The Price Police Department can be reached by calling 636-3190.