Deputies Break Up Suspected Camp Of Thieves West Of Utah Lake
ELBERTA, Utah — Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office broke up a suspected camp of thieves west of Utah Lake after a traffic stop led to the ultimate disclosure of the site.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon said it began with a traffic stop on Nov. 14 on state Route 68, north of Elberta.
“He found a pickup truck towing a trailer and the trailer had no tail lights on it,” Cannon said. “During the course of that traffic stop, the deputy discovered a wide variety of problems.”
According to the deputy, the driver — 44-year-old Tyler Ferguson, of Salt Lake City — had a revoked driver’s license and was driving without a required interlock device.
Cannon said the deputy also discovered the vehicle identification numbers had been damaged or destroyed on the pickup and trailer, and determined that the trailer had been stolen and that the truck was believed to be stolen.
Additionally, the license plate on the pickup did not show up in the state database and the sticker attached to the plate was connected to a different pickup truck, where the sticker was reported stolen.
“He had a lot of property in and on the truck that was stolen,” Cannon said.
A backpack that belonged to Ferguson also contained a stolen license plate, according to investigators.
Cannon said during an interview, Ferguson told deputies about a campsite west of Utah Lake that contained other property.
On Nov. 19, Cannon said a deputy found the site along Soldier Pass Road.
“There was an old motorhome, there was an old work truck that had been burned out, there was another pickup that had a car dolly on it that was towing a passenger car and there was another flatbed work truck that had wooden sides on it,” Cannon said. “A couple of those vehicles were stolen, a couple of them we’re still trying to figure out if they’re stolen, a couple of trailers — at least one we know was stolen, another couple of trailers we think are stolen but haven’t been able to figure that out yet.”
Cannon said deputies recovered numerous other items, including tools, that were either confirmed stolen or are believed to be stolen.
“This is a pretty complex operation,” Cannon said. “We have about a dozen victims, maybe 15 victims, we have at least five or six other people that are suspects in this case, and we physically arrested three people and took them to jail.”
In addition to Ferguson, deputies said the two other arrestees were 51-year-old Tamara Mikol Bookhout and 44-year-old Zachary Lon Durrant, both of Salt Lake City.
Bookhout and Durrant were booked on suspicion of several theft and drug-related crimes.
Ferguson was charged on Nov. 18 with felony vehicle parts without identification number and theft by receiving stolen property along with several misdemeanors.
Cannon said Wednesday the investigation was still active with more arrests possible, and that leads could potentially stretch out of state.
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