Police recover car stolen from paralyzed woman

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OGDEN — A specially-modified car that was stolen outside a paralyzed woman's home has been recovered and returned to its owners, according to police.

On Dec. 22, around 7:20 p.m., Meg Johnson's husband, Whit, had just loaded dozens of marshmallow Christmas treats into the vehicle. The couple planned to deliver to treats to neighbors and friends. He went inside to get Meg when he heard the car engine rev and looked out the window to see tail lights as someone sped away in the vehicle.

The silver Subaru Baja was modified so Johnson could get in and out of it on her own as well as drive it. She was paralyzed in a 2004 hiking accident and cannot feel her legs and has limited use of her hands and arms.

The Baja was recovered Friday, Dec. 24, around 10:30 p.m. by Ogden police. An officer was on patrol Christmas Eve when he saw a vehicle matching the description of the Johnsons' car being driven in a neighborhood. He lost sight of the vehicle for a few minutes, but later saw it parked near 10th St. and Kiesel Ave., with multiple individuals walking away from it, said Lt. David Tarran with Ogden City Police.

The officer stopped one man, but two other suspects fled, Tarran said. Other officers responded and tracked the two suspects, leading to two foot chases.

"Ultimately the two other suspects got away," he said.

There didn't appear to be any damage to the vehicle, and police called the Johnsons and returned it that evening. Officers spoke with the one suspect about his involvement, but did not make any arrests, Tarran said.

"We didn't want to make any rush to justice" he said.

Police will conduct a thorough investigation, he said, and track down those responsible. Officers had been on the lookout for the vehicle since it was reported missing Wednesday. Given the holiday season and the owners' situation, police really hoped to return it to the Johnsons, Tarran said.

E-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com.

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Molly Farmer


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