Nephi, UT – A man facing car theft charges who had just been released from the Juab County Jail stole an unmarked sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle on Tuesday, just moments after he was released from custody.
The incident occurred at about 5 a.m. on March 8 after a Juab County sheriff’s deputy left his patrol truck running in the parking lot of the county jail to warm it up, KSTU reported.
The Juab County Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy used his key fob to lock the truck after he started it, but the door lock proved defective.
Officials confirmed that a mechanical failure occurred with the truck’s lock, KTVX reported.
Moments later, the jail released a vehicle theft suspect on an unsecured bond.
The man was facing charges of burglary of a vehicle and theft, according to KTVX.
And he took advantage of the situation, KSTU reported.
Deputies said the man walked up to the running truck and jumped inside.
Investigators said the man got back out of the truck once – as if undecided about what to do – but then he got back into the sheriff’s department’s unmarked vehicle and fled the parking lot, KTVX reported.
Deputies were able to track the truck’s location and saw it was in Millard County.
The suspect in the stolen sheriff’s vehicle was spotted by the Utah Highway Patrol on Interstate 15 near mile marker 211 going northbound, KSTU reported.
Sheriff’s department officials said that “based on the severity of the circumstances, a vehicle stop was not initiated, but rather a spike technique was deployed to avoid the possibility of a pursuit.”
Deputies spiked the stolen patrol truck about 10 miles later and it exited the highway in Nephi, according to KSTU.
The suspect was taken into custody at the scene.
The sheriff’s department said the truck thief was arrested without incident, KTVX reported.