Southern Utah VFAST team arrests San Diego man wanted for child kidnapping; missing boy returned to family

Robert Preston Crowe. Photo: Department of Justice, Utah District

ST. GEORGE, Utah, April 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Members of Utah’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (VFAST) on Friday arrested Robert Preston Crowe of San Diego for kidnapping a child who was found with him in Washington County.

Investigators in California developed information that Crowe was hiding with the child near Apple Valley, Utah, a statement issued by the U.S. Marshals Service says.

“The United States Marshal Service was asked to assist in looking for Crowe and the abducted child,” the statement says.

“Using a fixed-wing aircraft, VFAST was able to identify Crowe’s vehicle at a rural campsite in Washington County, UT. The Marshal Service, and Task Force members from St. George Police, Washington City Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement, Utah Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Land Management, descended on the campground.”

The State Police hovered above in a helicopter keeping a close eye on the campsite, the statement says.

“After a brief standoff, Crowe surrendered to VFAST who surrounded the campsite. The child was also located and rescued by Task Force members.”

The US Marshal for the District of Utah, Matthew D Harris, commented in the prepared statement.

“This is an example of the benefit of the collaborative law enforcement partnerships we have, not only along the Wasatch Front but throughout the state. Because of this partnership, the USMS safely returned a child to his family, and a perpetrator was arrested without incident. While the US Marshals Service has many responsibilities, no mission is more important or more rewarding than helping a family reunite with a missing child.”

VFAST in Southern Utah is composed of members from the Saint George Police Department, Washington City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Iron County Sheriff’s Department, Cedar City Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Adult Probation and Parole.

The U.S. Marshal Service would also like to offer a special thanks to the Utah State Highway Patrol and Bureau of Land Management for ground and air assets, the statement says.

The general area of Apple Valley is marked in red near Utah’s southern border on this map. Image: Google Maps

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