Stolen vehicles recovered, suspects arrested after police operation in Salt Lake County

Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-05 20:03:37-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Police from two agencies teamed up this weekend for an all-out blitz aimed at recovering stolen vehicles.

This kind of joint operation from Unified Police Department and West Valley City PD is something officers carry out a few times a year.

Assisted by a helicopter, police were out searching for stolen vehicles when they came upon someone on a motorcycle.

“At one point they attempted a traffic stop, the motorcycle fled from the officers at that point; we don't pursue on stolen vehicles,” said Lt. Bill Robertson of the Unified Police Department.

But while they didn’t pursue the motorcycle in ground vehicles, the helicopter kept watch above and notified officers when the suspect finally came to a stop.

“Then officers were able to come into the area and set up a containment, and we were successful in taking him into custody,” Robertson said.

A number of motorcycles were recovered early Saturday morning, with police making arrests on a number of riders who had already violated probation. Police also captured a suspect who fled at high speeds in a vehicle stolen in a carjacking.

“Spotted a vehicle that was making some maneuvers that concerned him, so he ran a plate and it came back as a stolen vehicle from a carjacking that occurred in Magna,” Robertson said of a white Audi spotted traveling at high speeds.

The suspect behind the wheel of that car was arrested and is now facing felony charges.

Police departments don't do these operations often, but when they do they said they find they’re recovering stolen vehicles and catching wanted criminals in the process.

“That’s why these operations pay off, they’re very proactive,” Robertson said.

Police said, due to safety concerns, they don’t generally pursue stolen vehicles when speeds exceed the speed limit, which is why having a helicopter present during these operations is so helpful.