Police: Man driving stolen vehicle arrested after drone, helicopter search

Police arrested a man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle overnight in Taylorsville after they say he fled from officers and then crashed into a parked car, prompting a search with drones and the Department of Public Safety helicopter.

Police arrested a man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle overnight in Taylorsville after they say he fled from officers and then crashed into a parked car, prompting a search with drones and the Department of Public Safety helicopter. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

TAYLORSVILLE — Police say they arrested a man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle overnight in Taylorsville after he fled from officers and then crashed into a parked car, prompting a search with drones and a helicopter.

Lonnie Lee Trujillo, 43, of South Salt Lake, was arrested and booked into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of theft by receiving stolen property, failing to stop at the command of police, failure to remain at the scene of an accident causing damage, failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, and interference with an arresting officer.

Late Tuesday, detectives were patrolling when they spotted a stolen vehicle on the road. The officers tried to follow the vehicle quietly, but the driver decided to flee "unprovoked," said Taylorsville Police Sgt. Kresdon Bennett. Police began chasing the vehicle and it went to Murray and then back to Taylorsville.

"During the pursuit the vehicle drifted to the right on a two-way road and hit an unoccupied vehicle," according to a police affidavit.

The driver then ran away into a backyard, the affidavit states. Police used drones and the Department of Public Safety helicopter to find him, Bennett said, and he was ultimately "taken down" by police K-9 dogs in the area of 4375 S. 1200 West, close to the Meadowbrook golf course.

"(Trujillo) tried to resist police when they were trying to take him into custody," according to the affidavit.

Trujillo has a significant history with police, Bennett said.

He urged people not to not leave a running car unattended, and asked people to invest in theft deterrents.

"It's becoming way, way too common. We're seeing it even more frequently. In my 18 years, it has just increased more and more and more," Bennett said of vehicle theft.

Court records show Trujillo has faced several previous felony charges in Utah since 2000. Among the most recent, he was charged in July with violating a pretrial protective order by allegedly calling and sending letters to an ex-girlfriend, whom is he accused of abusing, when he was in jail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges associated with that case.

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Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

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