ROY, Utah — A car was left unattended, running and unlocked in the driveway of a Roy home was stolen, taken to Las Vegas but later recovered in Washington County after a pursuit.
Christine and Adam Brown had their 2013 Hyundai Sonata stolen from their driveway near Roy High School on the morning on November 30th. Adam had just dropped off their children at school and came home to hand off the car to Christine for her to take it to work.
“I walked in, she was finishing making her cup of coffee, walked out the door and within that, what five minutes, it was like 5-10 minutes, they walked up, jumped in it and took off,” Adam and Christine said collectively recalling the beginning of the days-long ordeal. After calling Roy Police to come a take down a stolen vehicle report, Christine realized that the 2013 sedan had a tracker in the vehicle. The following day they setup the ‘blue link’ app from Hyundai and located the vehicle in Las Vegas.
“Watching them hit two or three Del Tacos, a couple of Mexican restaurants, casinos, a few different residences, apartment complexes, houses,” recalled Adam, who spent a few years living in Vegas himself. With such consistent movement, the Browns wondered what the thief or thieves were up to. “Are they picking up drugs, were they delivering drugs, what’s going to be found in the car after?”
After calling Las Vegas Metro Police, the Browns say they were out of luck and they weren’t going to get any local assistance, even though they had been following the cars every move on the tracker. However, more than a day after the car was taken, the Browns noticed it was being driven back on I-15 heading towards Utah.
“We had the idea, lets call Utah Highway Patrol and actually get ahead of them. We’ve been playing behind for two days, lets actually get in front of this,” said Adam. Christine was on the phone with a Washington County dispatcher and filled them in on the situation and gave them the location of the vehicle.
“We’re watching on the app, the car started just jumping great distances,” said Christine, recalling the evening of December 1st. “I said to him (Adam), I was like, they’re running, they’ve got blue lights behind him, there’s no way they’ve been so cautious this far.”
Christine and Adam were watching a police pursuit involving their own stolen vehicle on I-15 in St. George by following on the tracking app and listening on a police scanner.
Fox13 obtained video of the pursuit from Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “I’m going to try and get spikes set up,” said one of the deputies heard on the audio feed in the dashcam recording. “Spikes hit at 17, spikes hit at 17,” was heard a few minutes later.
After a nine-mile pursuit, with speeds reaching more than 100 miles-per-hour, the Browns stolen Hyundai Sonata was spike-stripped and sitting on the side of I-15 just past mile marker 17.
“Until they sat there and said ‘it’s been reported out of Roy’, I went ‘they got it, they got the car, awesome,’” said Christine.
According to documents obtained by Fox13 from Washington County Sheriff’s Office, 19-year-old Trevin Forsgren was the driver behind the wheel. “He had been car hoping all night in Roy looking for things to steal and came across a car that was running and unoccupied,” a probable cause statement said about Forsgren allegedly taking the vehicle from the Browns driveway near Roy High School. Numerous drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, prescription pills and marijuana were also located in the vehicle along with paraphernalia. Forsgren was arrested on evading, possession of a stolen vehicle along with several drug-related charges.
Anticipating needing to do some body work to the vehicle, the Browns feel fortunate to be getting their vehicle back within a few weeks. However, this serves as a reminder to those wanting to ‘warm up’ their vehicle as we approach winter.
“We both just got complacent, five years living here, doing the same thing every day during the winter,” said Adam. “Take those couple extra seconds, take your keys out of your car or lock the doors if you can.”
Fox13 reached out to AAA Utah regarding drivers warming up their vehicles during the colder months.
"AAA does not recommend that drivers warm-up their car for long periods of time. With today's engine technology and efficiency, vehicles reach operating temperature quicker when driving. As such, AAA recommends that drivers start their engine, fasten their seat belt, and check/adjust their mirrors, set their interior temperature then begin to drive the vehicle. In extreme cold climates, a person could start their engine and by the time they clear their windows of ice/snow (don't forget to remove snow from the roof and trunk too), begin to drive their vehicle." – Aldo Vazquez, AAA Utah spokesperson.