Oregon Police: Violent Criminals Accused in Multi-State Crime Spree Finally Captured
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two suspects accused in a violent crime spree that spanned several states, including Utah, are now behind bars. Police say the men are accused of crimes including a string of robberies, carjackings, multiple shootings and a homicide.
Oregon State Police identified the men as Matthew Anthony Fanelli, 30, of New Mexico and Jose Lopez-Jovel, 31, of El Salvador.
Capt. Tim Fox with OSP said it’s a relief the suspects were finally caught.
“They didn’t have any regard for anyone else and did not understand the value of human life,” said Fox. “I’m really glad they were taken into custody.”
Police in Colorado believe Fanelli and Lopez-Jovel are connected to a homicide in Denver that occurred early Friday morning. Then, they took off to Wyoming, where they’re accused of robbing a convenience store in Cheyenne.
Surveillance video shows the men allegedly committing their next crime, the armed robbery of a Wells Fargo bank right here in Utah, near Park City.
From there, police say the suspects made it to Roseburg, Oregon where they tried to carjack someone at a Red Robin restaurant Saturday.
Police were able to arrest Lopez-Jovel at that location but Fanelli escaped. Authorities say he led police on a chase on I-5 and shot at officers several times. One of the bullets struck a nearby car and hit a car seat with a child sitting in it. The child wasn’t hurt.
“I can’t imagine being the parents and feeling a lot of different feelings; angry, relieved and in fear that that happened and that your child was in that much danger,” said Fox.
Another bullet struck a commercial vehicle and another hit an Oregon State Police car, flattening the tire.
Police say Fanelli got away during the chase and then attempted to carjack an elderly couple. They say he shot the man and assaulted the woman.
“The male victim was shot at least twice and he’s in critical condition,” said Fox. “Hopes and prayers for him that he’ll pull through.”
After that attempted carjacking and shooting, police say Fanelli drove off again. He was finally arrested when his car caught fire after he drove through fields and fences.
Both men now face very serious charges. Police say Fanelli faces charges of attempted aggravated murder and assault, among others.
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