3 suspects facing felony charges after vehicle theft ring busted in Utah County

From left: Jesse Ferguson, Zachary Durrant, Tamara Bookhout. Photos: Utah County

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 25, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Three suspects are facing felony charges after multiple stolen vehicles and license plates were located at different locations in Utah County.

On Nov. 14, at about 7 p.m., a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office made a traffic stop on State Road 68 at mile marker 12, said a news release. The vehicle was a pickup that was towing a trailer that had no working taillights. During this stop the deputy learned that the driver, Tyler Ferguson, 44, from Salt Lake City, had a revoked driver license. The restrictions on his Utah driver license required that he have an ignition interlock installed on any vehicle he drives. It also restricts Ferguson from driving with any amount of alcohol in his system, the news release said. Ferguson had consumed alcohol and there was no interlock device installed on the pickup he was driving. Both of those violations required that the pickup he was driving be impounded.

“As deputies processed the pickup and trailer, they discovered that the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) had been damaged or destroyed,” the news release said. “They were able to verify the VIN for the trailer and it returned as stolen. They could not confirm the VIN for the pickup at that time but believe it was also stolen. The license plate that was on the pickup had no record in the state data base. The sticker on that plate belonged to a different pickup and that sticker was reported as stolen. The license plate on the trailer was registered to a different trailer and the sticker on that plate was from yet another license plate from another trailer.”

When deputies searched and inventoried the pickup, they found a backpack that belonged to Ferguson, the news release said. They found a license plate in that pack that was also allegedly stolen. During that search they also found drug paraphernalia and an open container of alcohol. Ferguson was also in possession of a forged Social Security card and a Tennessee birth certificate belonging to another person.

Ferguson was also found to have four warrants for his arrest for drug and theft related charges. Ferguson is currently in jail for three of the warrants and felony and misdemeanor charges related to the stolen trailer, stolen license plates and stickers, among other things.

“When deputies interviewed Ferguson, he told them there was a location on the west side of Utah Lake where he had been camping and there was other property there,” the news release said. “On Nov. 19 the same deputy went to Soldier Pass Road on the west side of Utah Lake to follow up on this information from Ferguson. There this deputy, working with other deputies and detectives, found several people in a makeshift camp.”

Around the camp they found several additional stolen or possibly stolen vehicles, stolen or possibly stolen license plates, and at least 15 other items that were either stolen or possibly stolen.

“During interviews with these suspects, deputies and detectives learned there was another
location in Juab County where there were also vehicles and property related to what had
already been discovered,” the news release said. “This case remains active. With what is currently known, there are at least 12 victims and several other known suspects. But all of that could expand as investigators follow up on leads. Some of those leads could even be outside the state of Utah.”

Juab County Sheriff’s Office is investigating cases in their jurisdiction related to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office investigation.

During this latter part of the investigation there were two more people arrested and booked into jail. They are Tamara Mikol Bookhout, 51, and Zachary Lon Durrant, 44, both of Salt Lake City. Both face felony and misdemeanor charges related to the stolen vehicles, license plates, registration stickers, and altered VIN plates. Heather Jean Dodge, 42, of West Valley City, faces misdemeanor drug charges.

Bookhout and Durrant have both been released from jail.

Ferguson is still being held on warrants and on the new charges with bail of $10,010.


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