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Accused thief hit officer with stolen car, police say

(Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Police Department)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police arrested a man Wednesday who they say stole merchandise at a Costco store, then hit a police officer with a stolen convertible while driving away.

The incident launched multiple high-speed chases Tuesday.

About 2:10 p.m., an off-duty parole officer saw Dallas James Choate, 19, carrying headphones and being chased by a store clerk at Costco, 1818 S. 300 West, said Salt Lake police detective Cody Lougy.

The officer got out of his car and started chasing Choate, who avoided the officer by getting into a BMW 328i convertible that police say he stole earlier this month. Choate locked the doors and started to drive off.

"Dallas actually aimed the vehicle toward the officer and struck him with the front of the vehicle, and the officer ended up on the hood and rolled off as he sped away," Lougy said.

The officer sustained minor injuries.

Police spotted Choate about an hour later driving west on North Temple near 1800 West. Officers pursued him onto westbound I-80 with speeds reaching about 110 mph before police lost sight of him and terminated the pursuit, the detective said.

About 9:30 p.m., Choate was seen again at 480 S. 500 West before again allegedly fleeing at a high speed from police. Officers terminated that chase for safety reasons.

Lougy said Choate was identified in video footage as having stolen the black convertible on Dec. 14 in Sugar House.

Choate was apprehended by West Valley police just before 3 p.m. Wednesday at a Target store, 5518 High Market Drive.

A search of court records shows a lengthy list of charges against Choate in 2014, including use or possession of drug paraphernalia, money laundering, and multiple counts of theft and traffic violations.

"We're very much aware of him," Lougy said.

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Morgan Jacobsen


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