Driver, passenger arrested after police chase, K-9 intervention in West Valley City

Jeffrey Thomas Morse and Kristi Rose Dickenson. Photos: Salt Lake County

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, July 28, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Two people were taken into custody by West Valley City officers after a car fled an attempted traffic stop.

A probable cause statement filed in the case said officers located an unoccupied stolen vehicle in a parking lot near the area of 2200 West and 3500 South, and waited until a driver and passenger entered the car, a 1998 Chevy Lumina, and began to drive away.

“Once the vehicle was occupied and driving, the initial officer attempted to complete a traffic stop on the vehicle,” the statement says. “The vehicle disregarded both lights and sirens of the officer’s vehicle and fled from the officer. A pursuit was initiated as the stolen vehicle fled from officers.”

A short time later, an officer saw the suspect drive to a shopping mall parking lot and exit the vehicle, leaving the female passenger behind.

“Containment was set up until the driver was finally located and arrested,” the probable cause statement says.

Lt. Bill Merritt, West Valley City Police, told Gephardt Daily it was a police K-9 that found the suspect, Jeffery Thomas Morse, 24.

“He was found hiding in large bush,” Merritt said. “It doesn’t say exactly why, but the K-9 did engage the man, and bit him on the arm. He was taken to the hospital for treatment there before being booked into jail.”

A search at the scene revealed that Morse had drug paraphernalia in his pockets, and that counterfeit money was located in the car, the statement says.

Morse was charged on suspicion of:

  • Receive or transfer of a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Forgery, a third-degree felony
  • Failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Morse’s passenger, 31-year-old Kristi Dickenson, was arrested on an existing warrant related to a drug-related case.

Merritt said older cars are popular targets for theft because they often have fewer anti-theft features than newer vehicles.


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