CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

String of reported thefts in St. George land four people in jail

Mar 11, 2022, 8:46 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:43 am

Police car sirens....

(PHOTO: Courtesy of Getty Images)

(PHOTO: Courtesy of Getty Images)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Four suspects were arrested earlier this week for a string of alleged thefts from several St. George businesses, police say.

Police told St. George News, the suspects were found just minutes after the final theft, after officers just missed the crime in progress two earlier times.

All four suspects are from out of state. Three are from Las Vegas, and the fourth is from New Jersey.

Alleged string of thefts

St. George News reports that officers were called Tuesday afternoon to a retail store of a theft, involving three of the suspects. Police say they reportedly took more than $3,600 in merchandise and left before authorities arrived.

Tuesday evening, police received a call of a second retail theft. When police arrived on scene, they discovered that $3,000 in goods had been taken, St. George News reports. Security camera footage of the three individuals matched the same individuals in the earlier theft. 

In both cases, the suspects were able leave the scene before police arrived. However, authorities were provided a license plate that matched a gray Volkswagen sedan.

A short time later, police were called to a retail theft at a Walmart in Bloomington. In this theft, the suspects reportedly took $1,500 in merchandise.

Suspects discovered at a nearby gas station

Minutes later, the Volkswagen sedan was located by police at a nearby gas station.

Once additional officers arrived on scene, the vehicle was approached by authorities, who found four individuals in the car, of which three matched the suspects allegedly involved in the three earlier incidents. All four were taken into custody and separated by police.

Police were able to see stolen items through the front windshield. During a search of the vehicle, all merchandise that had been reported stolen was recovered. Roughly, $2,500 worth of merchandise from a fourth retailer were also discovered during the search. Those items still had price tags and security devices attached to them.

Additionally, police say that items connected to drug-paraphernalia were also discovered.

The suspects were identified as Louis Elhalim, 40; Angela Lynn Wanta, 37 and Jeremy Crain, 27. All three are of Las Vegas. The fourth suspect was identified as Jesse Pate, 28, of Red Bank, New Jersey. 

St. George News also reports that during the booking process, all four individuals admitted to using fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin. 

All four suspects were booked into jail under investigation four counts of retail theft, each a third-degree felony and possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.

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String of reported thefts in St. George land four people in jail