Attempted robberies of cellphone stores prompt chase on I-15; groups of men rush stores, grab phones, flee

File photo: Gephardt Daily

LEHI, Utah, Jan. 20, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — An attempted robbery of a cellphone store in Lehi prompted a police pursuit on southbound I-15 Sunday afternoon, and officials said multiple jurisdictions may be investigating similar incidents.

Sgt. Thayne Call, of Lehi Police Department, told Gephardt Daily the incident within its jurisdiction took place a little before 12:10 p.m. Officials were alerted to an instance of suspicious activity at the AT&T store at 1299 S. Main St., Call said. It was reported that a group of men had tried to enter the store, but the store was closed.

Call said similar incidents had previously been reported by other police departments, including West Jordan and South Jordan. Scanner traffic also indicates incidents may have taken place in Taylorsville and Sandy, with the men either attempting to enter or entering stores such as AT&T and Verizon, grabbing multiple phones, and fleeing.

Call said that just after the attempted robbery in Lehi, a similar incident occurred at the Verizon store at 987 W. 500 North in American Fork, less than half a mile away. This shop was open, and the suspects did allegedly make off with numerous cellphones.

Lehi police gave chase and two suspects in a vehicle entered I-15, traveling southbound. It’s not clear if other suspects fled on foot or in a vehicle.

The two suspects then repeatedly drove off the freeway and got straight back on, still heading southbound. This occurred at Interstate Plaza Drive, then American Fork Main Street, then Pioneer Crossing, then Pleasant Grove Boulevard. At some point during the chase, Lehi police lost a visual on the vehicle and terminated the pursuit. Utah Highway Patrol also pursued the suspect vehicle but then also lost sight of the vehicle.

Officials have not yet released a description of the suspects or the suspect vehicle.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.


  1. My wife and I were ran off the road by him on the on ramp at American fork main st & south bound i-15. He was driving a black Dodge Challenger with California plates. He was a black male driver. I’m appalled that the police didn’t release anything warning people about him/ them. If they are willing to rob a business what’s to say they wouldn’t rob a residence? And being a father of four I would like to be notified if someone like that had escaped I’m my city so I could keep my family safe.

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