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Clever police work helps prevent chase, leads to arrests

By Shara Park | Posted - Sep. 25, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.


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WEST VALLEY CITY — An undercover police officer pretending to be a pedestrian helped in the arrest of three people near a car dealership in West Valley City.

Shortly after 2 a.m. a West Valley City police officer was patrolling the Ford dealership at 4155 W. 3500 South when he spotted three people involved in suspicious activity in the lot. The officer ordered them to stop, but the three jumped in a car and fled.

Officers in unmarked police cars followed the suspects' vehicle. An undercover officer in one of the unmarked cars pulled ahead of the suspects' vehicle. The officer got out at the light and acted like a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk. In reality, he put tire spikes in the road, and the suspects' car hit them.

Sgt. Steve O'Camb of the West Valley City Police Department said, "At least two of the vehicle tires are spiked, so it was basically inoperable. They pulled over and gave up without resistance. All three of them were taken into custody without incident."

Police say it worked out perfectly. They didn't want to engage in a chase because wet roads made it too dangerous.

When officers searched the vehicle they found evidence suggesting the suspects, John Martinez, Aaron Linford, and Brandie Barnhurst were scrapping metal from the dealership. They also found Martinez was in possession of meth.

All three were arrested on a number of charges related to the thefts and running from police. Martinez and Barnhurst were also arrested on $25,000 drug warrants. All three have been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

Photos

Shara Park

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