Cottonwood Heights man chases car thief in family’s second vehicle, ends up crashing both

Police say a Cottonwood Heights resident saw that his car was being stolen, so he followed in his other car. Both cars later collided. Photo: Gepahrdt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah, Feb. 16, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A Cottonwood Heights man who used one car to pursue a thief stealing his other car now has no working cars.

The thief made a sudden U-turn, and the two cars collided, he told police.

The car was taken at about 2 a.m. Friday from the Santa Fe Apartments in Cottonwood Heights, said Sgt. Christopher McHugh, Cottonwood Heights Police Department.

“The victim heard the vehicle start, ran downstairs, jumped in their second vehicle, and started chasing the suspect in his stolen vehicle,” McHugh said.

“They chased him down into Midvale, (where the thief) got back onto the I-215 eastbound freeway from State Street. The vehicle then made a U-turn, causing the victim’s first vehicle to crash into the victim’s second vehicle, causing pretty substantial damage to both vehicles.”

The car thief took off on foot.

“He was able to flee the area before we arrived,” McHugh said. “The victim gave us a play by play.”

McHugh speculated that the thief turned around because he saw a police car.

“An off-duty West Valley officer was on his way home, and made a traffic stop on a car, and when the suspect saw that car pulled over on the side of the road, he made an abrupt U-turn into oncoming lanes of traffic, trying to get away from the completely uninvolved West Valley officer.”

Several agencies responded, and a K-9 was brought in, but failed to find the suspect.

McHugh said he would prefer people don’t pursue their stolen cars.

“We would much rather that you give us a call and let us look for your vehicle,” he said. “A stolen vehicle is not worth your life. We are lucky no one was injured, but the victim did sustain damage to both his vehicles now.

“Please don’t chase your stolen property. Let us do it. Property is not worth a life.”


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