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Exhausted suspects surrender after police chase through snow

By Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen, | Posted - Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:16pm

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LEHI — Police released the names of two burglary suspects who surrendered after a tough chase through three feet of snow near a construction site on Traverse Mountain.

The suspects are brothers Daniel Johnson, 23, of Murray and David Nowoty, 28, of Grantsville.

Sgt. Kenny Rose of the Lehi Police Department said an officer patrolling the new construction site for Xactware, on Morning Glory Road just off state Route 92, around 2 a.m. spotted a vehicle parked nearby and footprints in the snow.

Several copper thefts had recently been reported at the site, so patrols have been stepped up in the area.

When the officer saw the footprints, he called for backup and followed the footprints into the site. He eventually saw two men engaged in what looked like a burglary.

Officers ordered the men to surrender, but they fled into the snow-covered field. Officers pursued them in a chase that lasted 30-45 minutes, at times in three feet of snow, in a field on the east side of Traverse Mountain.

"They would run a ways ahead and then duck down in the snow and tried to conceal themselves in the snow," said Darren Paul of the Lehi Police Department. "Then when officers were a few steps behind them and order them to stop, they would get up and run further."

The officers set up a containment around the field and closed in on the suspects, eventually flushing them out near state Route 92. Several officers were waiting for them there.

Our guys on site this morning are just thrilled that we caught the folks coming in and stealing stuff from us.

–Rob Moore, Big-D Construction

Rose said the men were exhausted from running in deep snow and were ready to surrender. They didn't have any copper on them but they did have tools. Police will try to determine if those tools were stolen from the site.

Regardless, Johnson and Nowoty were arrested for burglary and failure to stop at the command of a police officer and booked into the Utah County Jail.

Lehi Police said they have information that possibly links the two men to a residential burglary in the area.

The 210,000 square foot building's construction site has been burglarized four times before, and the construction company couldn't be more happy the two were caught.

"Our guys on site this morning are just thrilled that we caught the folks coming in and stealing stuff from us," said Big-D Constructions President Rob Moore.

The site was burglarized as recently as Monday when they called for help to prevent future burglaries.

"We had our whole patrol team out there, we had the sergeant and the officer who found the car initially, and when they started to follow the tracks they called for back up," Paul said.

Moore said construction companies industry-wide have been major targets for copper wire and equipment thefts over the past few years. An arrest made Thursday morning is a win for his hard working guys.

"This is an issue," Moore said. "I'ts very violating on our projects."


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