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Iron County Sheriff's Office

Police arrest suspected car thief following high-speed chase, search in mountains

By Tracie Snowder, KSL.com | Posted - Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:51 p.m.


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CEDAR CITY — Police have arrested a man who they say led them on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle before evading officers in the mountains near Cedar City.

Around noon on Tuesday, Washington City Police attempted to stop a car that was reported as stolen, Lt. Del Schlosser from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release, and the driver managed to evade those officers.

Around 12:45 p.m., the stolen vehicle was spotted on I-15 by Utah Highway Patrol Troopers. The driver led them on a brief high-speed chase with speeds reaching close to 115 mph before the UHP troopers abandoned the chase due to safety concerns, Schlosser said.

Iron County Sheriff’s deputies found the vehicle on Greens Lake Road and followed from a distance, according to Schlosser. Officials from the Cedar City Police Department, Bureau of Land Management and UHP deployed spike strips at the bottom of the road. The vehicle continued driving for about 1 mile after rolling over two sets of spikes, Schlosser said, and 29-year-old Justin Hinton fled the scene. The other occupant in the vehicle, Rhonda McMurtrey, 49, was taken into police custody.

Police pursued Hinton on foot and a reverse 911 alert was sent out in the area, though Hinton's identity was not known at the time. Cedar City Police, Southern Utah University Police, Division of Wildlife Resources and Southern Utah University Aviation also participated in the search.

Hinton was taken into custody later after he had been identified as the suspect; a citizen found him near a home in the Shurtz Canyon area around 5:15 p.m. and called 911, according to Schlosser. Hinton was transported to Cedar City Hospital for minor injuries he received while running from police. Charges are still pending.

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Tracie Snowder

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