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Paul Higgins

Police chase ends when stolen truck gets stuck in field

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Sep. 23, 2014 at 5:09 p.m.


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LAYTON — A man who police say stole a pickup truck and trailer before leading officers on a chase through rural Layton was arrested after he became stuck in the dirt.

The incident began about 7:30 a.m. at Rancheritos, near 300 N. Main, when the man found the keys of a pickup left inside the vehicle, said Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman. The truck belonged to a lawn care company whose employees had gone inside the restaurant to eat.

The lawn care crew watched as the man drove away. They got into another vehicle and followed while calling police, Lyman said. Responding officers caught up with the vehicle, and a 20-minute chase ensued through mostly rural areas — including on dirt roads.

The chase ended in a dirt field near 200 South and 2900 West when the suspect tried to drive the truck and trailer across it, but became stuck in the freshly plowed area, Lyman said.

For the next 20 to 30 minutes, the man tried to get the truck unstuck by going backward and forward. Lyman said it was obvious he wasn't going to get the vehicle unstuck, which gave SWAT team members and officers from Layton police, Clearfield police, and the Davis County Sheriff's Office time to set up and come up with a plan to resolve the situation safely.

"At that point, we didn't know what his intentions were," he said. "If we had to pick a place for a pursuit to end, we couldn't have picked a better spot, really."

The standoff ended when the officers launched tear gas into the truck's cab. Lyman said the man immediately got out and surrendered.

James Fannon Kelley, 29, was arrested for investigation of evading and vehicle theft. Police were also looking into possible impaired driving, Lyman said.

State court records show a lengthy criminal history in the adult system dating back to when Kelley was 18, mostly for crimes involving forgery and domestic violence.

In 2013, he was convicted in separate cases of felony shoplifting, attempted forgery, and violating a protective order four different times, according to court records. Kelley was given various jail sentences for his convictions.

He was convicted of forgery in 2007 as well as attempted forgery in a second case, as well as theft in 2007 and graffiti, according to court records. Kelley was also convicted of theft in 2004.

Detectives were also investigating whether the man was impaired at the time of the car theft on Tuesday.

Contributing: Nicole Vowell

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Pat Reavy

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