Weber County juveniles wanted in multiple car thefts, vehicle pursuits
HARRISVILLE, Utah – Homeowners in one Weber County neighborhood said they’re fed up with a group of teens that are repeatedly burglarizing cars, taking them on joy-rides, and using them to run from police.
The worst part they said, is the juveniles have been willing to serve out a short sentence, only to do it again.
“It’s so violating,” said North Ogden resident Danice Zulliger. “They just don’t realize how sentimental something is to you.”
Zulliger said teens stole her purse from inside her car earlier this month. She didn’t think much of it at the time, but reported it to police just in case.
“Then I just realized that my son’s ashes were in my purse,” Zulliger said. “Then I was kind of upset.”
Zulliger’s son, Deyne Stocker, was 24 years old when he died in a motorcycle crash 5 years ago. Motorcycle enthusiasts knew him as the owner of Sid’s Speed Shop.
“They didn’t even care [about his ashes],” Zulliger said. “They didn’t find what they were looking for and they just chucked the purse.”
The ashes, contained in a small, metal heart was later recovered by a North Ogden Police officer who found it discarded in the street.
Nick and Dacia Galbraith said their pickup truck was stolen recently, and turned up three days later.
“It was up in Ogden, and it had been totaled,” said Dacia Galbraith. “It was involved in a high-speed chase.”
Galbraith went on to explain that the seats had been slashed open and cigarette butts were put out in them.
“They had done so much damage to it prior,” Galbraith said. “They had multiple accidents in the three days that they had it.”
Chief Max Jackson from the Harrisville Police Department said the same group of about a dozen junior high school age teens have neighborhoods across Weber County. He said the suspects keep in touch by cellphone, coordinating their efforts in different areas.
“A lot of deference is given to youthful offenders, hoping that they’ll be rehabilitated by the time they reach 18,” Chief Jackson explained. “Unfortunately, these young folks know that they can get in trouble multiple times, and in some cases just spend a couple of months in a secure facility.”
Jackson said the group consists of mostly males and two females. He said they go out in search of cars with unlocked doors, looking for cash, keys, and guns in three cases so far. Cars with keys inside often get taken for joy rides, and more.
“They’ll go to active calls that police are involved with, start interfering with that call to the point that they’ll be apprehended, and they’ll jump into one of their stolen vehicles and take off,” Jackson said.
He also explained that the teens have become increasingly brazen.
“They’ll come across a center lane when they see a policeman, and play chicken with the officer,” Jackson said. “I’ve been in this business for 38 years, and this is the first phenomena like this that we’ve had, where kids are actively going out and provoking confrontations with police.”
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