Police evacuated a Home Depot store and launched an intensive manhunt Wednesday morning in southwest Salt Lake City after a chase suspect ditched one vehicle, stole another and was seen fleeing on foot into the business.
Officers set up a containment area and evacuated the Home Depot store at 300 West and 2100 South. By 10:45 a.m., however, the store had been cleared by police dogs and employees were returning to work.
By 11:30 a.m., authorities said the suspect may have been spotted near 1460 S. State St. But police checked out the anonymous tip and determined the man wasn’t there. Then again, at 12:30 p.m., police swarmed the area of a trailer park at 1366 S. Major Street (60 East), about two blocks east of the Spring Mobile Ballpark.
“There was a sighting of a guy there and Salt Lake City police set up a containment area and were searching for him,” McGowan said.
As of 10 p.m., no further sightings of the suspect had been reported.
Charlie Roberts, a spokesman with the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles, said earlier that his agency was attempting to arrest a man in West Valley City when the suspect was spotted about 8:45 a.m. with a stolen vehicle. He said the suspect allegedly had switched license plates, but the vehicle matched the description of a stolen truck.
The suspect, a 31-year-old Bountiful man who was also wanted for allegedly trying to run down two police officers recently, led investigators on a brief chase near 7200 West and 3100 South.
About 20 minutes later, the suspect crashed the pickup in a ditch near Interstate 80 and 5600 West. Police called off the chase for the public’s safety. They said they found a gun inside the wrecked pickup.
Roberts said the suspect then stole a second vehicle, a construction truck with the keys left inside, which he abandoned near 300 West and 1800 South. He ran about three blocks with officers in pursuit, and was apparently spotted by a police officer entering the Home Depot store.
Police spent nearly an hour searching the store for the suspect, but he was not inside.