COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A man with $332,000 in outstanding warrants was arrested by police Tuesday night, and then released from jail due to overcrowding.
It's the fifth time the man has been arrested and released due to jail overcrowding, according to police.
Cottonwood Heights officers arrested Jared Thomas Cobia, 39, on several failure to appear warrants. Cobia was convicted in 2010 of theft by receiving stolen property in one case, and giving false personal information and possession of drug paraphernalia in another. All the charges are misdemeanors.
Because of overcrowding issues at the Salt Lake County Jail, Cobia was released Tuesday shortly after being booked.
Being booked and released is something that Cobia has become familiar with.
On June 17, 2010, a warrant was issued for Cobia's arrest after he failed to appear for sentencing, according to court records. He was arrested June 30, 2010, and booked into jail, but was released two days later because of overcrowding, according to court records.
On July 19, 2010, another warrant was issued for Cobia for again failing to appear. He was picked up on July 26 and released again because of overcrowding the next day, court records state.
On Aug. 12, 2010, another warrant was issued for Cobia's arrest for failure to appear, this one for $100,000. On Oct. 21, 2010, Cobia was arrested and booked into jail. Once again, he was released the next day due to overcrowding, according to court records.
On Nov. 15, 2010, a judge issued a $150,000 warrant for Cobia's arrest. On Jan. 11, Cobia was again booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. The next day, he was released due to overcrowding, according to court records.
On Jan. 26, the current $300,000 warrant for Cobia's arrest, in which he was just released, was issued. Each time he has been booked and released, the bail for Cobia has been raised by a judge.
But Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said raising the bail doesn't have any impact on the procedures and statutes the jail follows to stay within capacity. In fact, having a person booked and released several times for nonviolent offenses, excluding DUI and domestic violence-related crimes, isn't uncommon.
If a police department or a judge has a concern about a specific inmate, Winder said there is a long-standing rule that jail administrators can be contacted at any time to be notified not to let a person go. Winder said he could be contacted personally if a judge or police agency has a concern about releasing someone.
In Cobia's situation, Winder said his office had never been contacted with specific orders not to release him early.5 comments on this story
While more jail space would be nice, Winder said the solution to the problem may rest with a program called Early Case Resolution in which matters can be adjudicated quickly.
For serious offenders and those who pose the biggest risks to the community, Winder said his office is doing everything possible to keep them incarcerated.