Truck driver wanted on rape charges in Salt Lake County arrested at Utah-Arizona port of entry

Posted at 7:50 PM, Feb 11, 2018

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A man wanted on warrants stemming from rape allegations in Salt Lake County was arrested near the Utah-Arizona border Sunday during a routine inspection of the semi he was driving.

St. George News reports troopers arrested 54-year-old Thorpe Steele of Alvin, Texas on the northbound side of the port of entry inspection point around 2:20 p.m. Sunday.

Arizona authorities became aware of two outstanding warrants for Steele’s arrest during a routine inspection of the semi while checking his ID. They contacted Utah Highway Patrol, and troopers responded to make the arrest.

Authorities arrest 54-year-old Thorpe Steele, of Alvin, Texas, at the Utah-Arizona Interstate 15 port of entry, St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

According to a statement of probable cause filed in Salt Lake County in October of 2017, a woman told police that Steele raped her in the sleeping area of his truck while she was a trainee at CR England Trucking.

She said the incident happened in July of 2017 in Salt Lake County while Steele was showing her the inside of his truck and that Steele showed her several knives and told her “what happens in the truck stays in the truck” prior to the attack.

Steele was charged with one count of rape and one count of forcible sodomy as first-degree felonies in that case. Following his arrest Sunday, he was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility in southern Utah on the existing warrants.