Two unrelated vehicle thefts in SLC each have ‘shocking’ element

Salt Lake City Police officers arrested a man suspected of stealing the truck shown here from the area of 800 South and 400 West on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Photo: SLCPD/Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 21, 2022 — Tasers were going off from both sides Wednesday as officers corralled vehicle theft suspects.

The incidents happened some 10 or 12 blocks apart at almost the same time, according to Salt Lake City Police press releases.

The adventures started at 7:52 a.m. when officers responded to a call from a resident in the area of 800 South and 400 West who reported witnessing a man steal her vehicle.

The stolen vehicle was located near 980 S. State St. with the suspect still inside. The man fled as police approached, and a foot chase ensued.

At one point the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a personal electrical device and attempted unsuccessfully to “drive-stun” officers.

A vehicle theft suspect unsuccessfully tried to “drive stun” Salt Lake City officers with an electrical device (shown here) that makes contact with a person’s body and delivers a non-lethal amount of electrical shock. Photo: SLCPD/Twitter

Officers safely took the “physically non-compliant” suspect into custody and seized his device. No officers were injured, but the suspect received minor injuries and was being evaluated at a local hospital. He refused to reveal his name to officers; however, after several hours, he identified himself to the hospital nurse as Sione Faluku.

Sione Finau Faluku, age 21, was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and is facing charges of:

  • Theft, a third-degree felony
  • Assault on a peace officer or military service member in uniform, a second-degree felony
  • Interference with arresting officer a class B misdemeanor
  • Failure to disclose identity, a class B misdemeanor

The other incident commenced at 8:05 a.m. when officers spotted a suspicious vehicle, later determined to be stolen, in a hotel parking lot near 1900 W. North Temple St.

Officers approached the vehicle and attempted to take the driver, later identified as Hung Nguyen, into custody but he refused to comply, assaulting one of the officers. Officers used a Taser to successfully take Nguyen into custody without further use of force.

Nguyen was not injured. One officer suffered a minor injury and was treated and released from a local hospital.

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