Two suspects arrested after highspeed chase with police on Arizona-Utah border
Jul 12, 2023, 8:16 PM | Updated: 9:04 pm
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Two people gave multiple police agencies a chase on the Arizona-Utah border after allegedly stealing from a Walmart.
On June 23, St. George police were notified that Black GMC Acadia fled from Mesquite police in Arizona after stealing multiple items from a Walmart, according to the affidavit.
At approximately 5:22 p.m., a St. George police officer noticed the Acadia on Interstate 15 going about 100 mph and began to follow it for its license plate.
According to the affidavit, the Acadia exited I-15, began tailgating other cars, changing lanes without signaling, and ran multiple stop signs. The Acadia got back on I-15 and went into the area of Sunriver Parkway, where the St. George officer stopped following the suspect’s car.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded to the area, found the Acadia, and began to pursue the car from Sunriver Parkway back onto I-15.
“The vehicle committed several other traffic violations with UHP following, and eventually UHP helicopter was able to locate the vehicle, and the (Acadia) stopped at two different fuel stations within the city of St George,” stated the affidavit.
The Acadia passenger, later identified as 38-year-old Angela Lynn Wanta, exited the car at both gas stations and got back into the car when police arrived.
“The UHP helicopter continued to follow the vehicle until it reached South Plantation Dr and stopped on a dirt road, and both the male and (Wanta) had gotten out of the car and were running on foot,” stated the affidavit.
Police were able to place both suspects into custody without further issues. They identified the driver as 40-year-old Pedro Antonio Vargas.
After being read his Maranda rights, Vargas admitted to police that he had stolen items from the Mesquite Walmart, ran from police through the gorge, and entered Utah, according to the affidavit.
Vargas told police he ran because he did not want to get caught for stealing, did not have a valid driver’s license or insurance for the Acadia, and had marijuana and methamphetamine in the car.
After being read her Maranda rights, “(Wanta) also stated when she was at Walmart, she saw Pedro lean into the shopping cart and take out a scooter box and a speaker and place them in his arms, and then ran out of the store,” according to the affidavit.
Wanta told police that Vargas told her to “be quiet” and said, “they were not getting caught.” She said she kept telling him “to stop and to give up.”
According to the affidavit, Wanta said she attempted to pay for the gas at the two gas stations but jumped back into the car when police arrived. The affidavit noted that she had two chances to escape the situation and chose not to.
Both suspects were booked into the Washington County Jail for third-degree felony charges of failing to stop at the command of a police officer, and misdemeanor charges of theft, possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II/analog, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Vargas was charged additionally for misdemeanor reckless driving, operating a vehicle without insurance, and operating a vehicle with a valid license.
Wanta also had a no-bail warrant for her arrest out from Utah’s 5th district court.