TOOELE COUNTY, Utah, April 29, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Law officers are on high alert after a Saturday morning traffic stop on Interstate 80 during which two men fled and one reportedly carjacked a gray westbound passenger car.
The second man fled into the foothills. A third man, the driver of the vehicle stopped by the Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, is in custody and being questioned.
“We’ve got troopers all over, looking for that gray passenger car,” said Lt. Beau Mason, Utah Highway Patrol.
“This guy in the foothills is not a hazard because of the location with Kennecott and the vast open territory. At this point, he’s not a hazard to anyone, but the other is our concern right now.”
A helicopter is searching the area, Mason said. Other agencies involved in the search are the Tooele Sheriff’s Office and Tooele Police, and the Grantsville Police. The Nevada Highway Patrol and police departments including those in Wendover have been alerted.
“Everyone is on this, trying to help us locate these two individuals,” Mason said.
The two who fled are African-American men believed to be in their early 20s, Mason said. The man who fled into the foothills was dressed all in black.
“Of course, that could change if he has layers,” Mason said. “We have a couple motorists that stopped and thought they saw him up in the hills. As soon as we got containment set up, we haven’t seen him since. We’re looking. We got the helicopter looking from the air, so we’re doing everything we can to get him.”
A passing motorist reported seeing the other fleeing suspect, wearing a gray T-shirt, as he carjacked the gray car, which is believed to have a single occupant.
It all started with a 10:30 a.m. traffic-violation stop near mile marker 100, which falls between the exits for Stansbury to the east and Magna/West Valley to the west.
“One of our troopers stopped a car, speaking with the driver, and the two passengers fled,” Mason said.
Late Saturday afternoon, a UHP news release stated that the containment had been lifted, although neither of the fleeing suspects had been located.
Traffic remained open on I-80 throughout the active investigation. Mason has asked anyone who sees something they want to report to call 911.
“And don’t pick up hitchhikers, for obvious reasons.”