Man in stolen car escapes police in Murray

Police in Murray pursued a man in a stolen car early Friday morning, but he remains at large. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

MURRAY, Utah, Feb. 9, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect spotted inside a stolen vehicle overnight and blocked in by police made a dramatic escape by jumping the car over a curb and speeding past a police car to escape.

Spotted again a few blocks away, the man bailed out of the damaged car and escaped on foot, avoiding K-9s brought in to track him.

Friday morning, police were following possible leads.

“About¬†2 o’clock in the morning, one of our detectives spotted a stolen vehicle,” said Lt. Paul Barker, Unified Police Department.

The car pulled into a motel parking lot near 4500 South and 500 West, and the detective called for backup, Barker said. With officers in place, an unmarked car was sent to determine whether the suspect had exited the car.

“The unmarked car drove around the motel and saw there was a man still sitting in the seat,” Barker said.¬†“So we attempted to move in and take him into custody, turn on our equipment and conduct a felony stop.

“The suspect went over a curb, through some grass, hit a light pole, and fled out of the motel parking lot back onto 45th South. At that time, there was no pursuit.”

A detective spotted the suspect a few blocks away, continuing eastbound on 4500 South, and followed.

“The detective observed him turning into this circle here, then up on the grass and bailing out on foot,” Barker said at the scene. “We’ve had K-9s out searching for him for about an hour now, and we have not located him.”

The suspect remained at large late Friday morning. Barker said it was unknown whether the man was helped by a friend in the area or called for a ride. A cell phone was found in the stolen car, so the original hope was that the suspect didn’t have a phone to call a friend.

No additional evidence was found in the car, Barker said. The vehicle had damage from a spike strip placed outside the motel parking lot, and from hitting the curb and the power pole.

Barker said the car rushed past him as he was approaching the motel area, but no officers were hurt in the incident. Responding agencies included Unified, the Murray Police Department and the Metro Gang Unit.

Police have asked anyone living in the area who may have seen something, found evidence or recorded the suspect on surveillance to contact local police.

“We have a couple leads on his identity,” Barker said of the suspect, “but nothing 100 percent at this point.”

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