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Suspect at large after West Wendover casino robbery, chase

Published February 13, 2014 11:19 am

West Wendover • Utah-Nevada border casino held up; UHP pursues suspect into Herriman.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

One suspect was in custody and another remained at large Thursday after an overnight high-speed chase that began after the robbery of a casino in West Wendover and ended with a crash in south Salt Lake County.

At least two male suspects were believed involved in the 11:20 p.m. Wednesday robbery at the Montego Bay Casino on the Utah-Nevada line. West Wendover, Nev., police alerted UHP and police in Tooele and Salt Lake counties to be on the lookout for the getaway vehicle, last seen heading east on Interstate 80.

"About 12:30 a.m., one of our troopers located the vehicle traveling on I-80 [just west of Tooele] and attempted to make a stop. A high-speed pursuit ensued into Salt Lake County," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce.

With speeds reaching 120 mph, UHP briefly terminated the chase due to public safety concerns, but Unified Police, West Valley City, Salt Lake City and other area law officers were alerted. The suspect vehicle was soon spotted again in the Riverton area, and the chase resumed.

The suspect careened onto Bangerter Highway, slowing enough for a male passenger to jump out and run near the highway's intersection with Interstate 15.

Police, using dogs in places, conducted extensive searches along the highway's corridor from 8000 South to 11400 South but were unable to locate the suspect.

Police were pretty sure they knew who the fugitive was, though they declined release it, citing the ongoing nature of their investigation.

However, the driver of the suspect vehicle was in custody, having been arrested by UPD officers after he crashed into a field near 13400 South and 7000 West in Herriman about 1:30 a.m., not long after his passenger had bailed out.

UPD Lt. Justin Hoyal said the driver tried to run from the crashed getaway car but was quickly captured by officers following a short foot chase. A 38-year-old Wendover, Utah, man was booked into the Tooele County jail late Thursday morning on suspicion of evading police and aggravated robbery charges.

An unspecified amount of cash believed from the casino reportedly was recovered from the car.

West Wendover Police Chief Burdel Welsh said the robbery occurred when one of the male suspects, wearing a mask and a black hooded jacket and blue jeans, jumped onto a counter and grabbed a cashier's cash box. He then fled into the parking lot where he and his waiting accomplice sped away.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims