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Neighbors help police track down suspected car thief

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Mar. 27, 2010 at 8:15 p.m.


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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- A woman is in custody Saturday after leading police on a wild chase through Midvale and South Jordan. Neighbors helped stop the woman and held her until officers could make the arrest.

Brandy Dean Hanlon has a long criminal history, has been in and out of prison and now faces several new charges.

Saturday, police say she assaulted a man, stole his truck, tried to hit an officer and plowed through four fences before neighbors finally stopped her in Bluffdale. Police say the crime spree was likely motivated by drugs, and that Hanlon even admitted she has a desire to return to a life behind bars.

Police say it all started in the parking lot of a Motel 6 at 7263 Catalpa Road in Midvale. That's where Hanlon attacked a man and took off in his truck.

"He was warming up his vehicle, going around the back to put his dog in the bed of the truck when he was struck on the side of the head by something or someone," said Sgt. Marcelo Rapela with the Midvale Police Department.


She was definitely agitated and of course our adrenaline was flowing and we felt like we've got to do something. She says she has a gun, but we're going to at least try to follow her.

–Chris Creek


Police spotted the vehicle near 11400 South and 4000 West and began chasing Hanlon.

The 32-year-old suspect tore through three fences during the chase -- all vinyl. But when she tried to take down a steel fence in the area of 14200 South and 3600 West in Bluffdale, the fence stopped her abruptly. That's when the neighbors saw Hanlon running on foot.

"She yelled, ‘I've got a gun, I'll kill you if you don't stay away,' so that kind of got my attention," said Chris Creek, a neighbor who helped stop Hanlon. "She was definitely agitated and of course our adrenaline was flowing and we felt like we've got to do something. She says she has a gun, but we're going to at least try to follow her."

Neighbor Chris Creek speaks to KSL about helping police catch Brandy Dean Hanlon.
Neighbor Chris Creek speaks to KSL about helping police catch Brandy Dean Hanlon.

When it became obvious she didn't have a gun, they tackled her. They held her for officers, who weren't too far behind.

"It's remarkable and very fortunate that she didn't hit anybody with this," said B.J. Smith with the South Jordan Police Department. "We're happy about that. We're happy just to get her into custody and to bring this to an end."

Police say Hanlon had methamphetamine on her at the time of her arrest and suspect she was high on the drug. When questioned by detectives, she admitted she wanted to go back to jail.

"She said she knew police were going to find her, she knew they were going to chase her -- she basically ran because it was fun," Rapela said.

Hanlon has a very long criminal record. KSL searched court records and found charges of joyriding, drug possession, burglary and theft in the past few years.

Now she'll face charges of car theft and aggravated assault on a police officer for attempting to run an officer over. She was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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