This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
LA VERKIN, Washington County — A man was arrested after police say he stole a Washington County sheriff's patrol car and led officers on a chase before being stopped in Zion National Park.
Just after 11 a.m. Friday, a sheriff's deputy was sent to La Verkin on a report of a stolen vehicle that was being tracked by OnStar. The officer arrived at a group of homes off state Route 9 and spotted another vehicle pulling out of a driveway, said Washington County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Shauna Jones.
"As he was talking to the driver, the passenger in that vehicle ran around while (the officer) was distracted and jumped in his patrol car and stole it," Jones said.
The stolen police Charger was spotted a short time later by a Hurricane police officer who initiated a pursuit, Jones said. La Verkin and Springdale police assisted in the chase as the stolen police car drove toward the Springdale entrance of Zion National Park.
The fleeing suspect entered the park going through the exit gate, avoiding the line of vehicles trying to get in, Jones said. Officers temporarily lost sight of the vehicle before it was reported driving through the Zion tunnel, she said.
Kane County sheriff's deputies along with Zion National Park rangers set up tire spikes near the park's east entrance and were able to successfully stop the fleeing patrol car, Jones said.
Clayton Glenn Campbell, 30, of Cedar City, was arrested for investigation of a number of charges including fleeing, possession of two stolen vehicles, DUI and reckless driving. Jones said detectives have also linked Campbell to the stolen vehicle that deputies were originally called to.
Jones said her department does not have a policy that requires deputies to take their keys out of the ignition when they step out of their vehicles, as they typically don't expect people to try and steal a patrol car when the deputy is standing close by.