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.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.