Unified Police searching for parole fugitive who may be armed

Posted at 11:27 AM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 18:48:53-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Officers with the Unified Police Department are searching for a parole fugitive accused of stealing a license plate and leading police on a chase through parts of Salt Lake County Tuesday.

Police said 29-year-old Thomas Burnham was stealing a license plate a car in Murray and fled in a black Volkswagen Jetta, heading south toward Midvale.

Around 7:15 p.m., a sergeant saw the car near 6500 S State St.

Officers caught up to the Jetta at a red light and surrounded the Jetta with their guns drawn, but Burnham allegedly rammed the police car behind him, pushing it back enough to allow him to escape.

"Since the 29th of January, they have four different stolen vehicles that they have been able to link to Mr. Burnham, and that's just in Midvale. So, he's obviously been out on, you know, quite a criminal tear right now and we're concerned about his mental state," said Lt. Lex Bell, Unified Police Department. "I mean, if you're willing to ram a police car to get away while officers have guns pointed at you, that, to me, is a pretty scary deal."

Police found the Jetta in a gated community in Taylorsville, but Burnham is still at large.

Police said one of the stolen cars linked to Burnham had a firearm inside, but the gun is now missing. Burnham is therefore considered to be armed and dangerous.

Burnham was described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 140 pounds. A mugshot taken a few months ago shows him with a shaved head.

Anyone with information that may help police locate Burnham is urged to call 801-743-7000.