Carjacking of Porsche sparks high-speed chase, arrest of two men

Published: Friday, Oct. 5 2012 3:37 p.m. MDT

MILLCREEK — A carjacking at gunpoint, a chase with a Porsche 911 traveling more than 120 mph on the freeway, and two men being arrested marked a busy day for police Friday in the Salt Lake Valley.

Two men were arrested after police say they took a man's 2001 gray Porsche 911 as he arrived at work Friday morning and later lead officers on a wild chase through a large portion of Salt Lake City.

Matthew Cardenas, 28, and Tyler Williams, 24, were arrested about 1:45 p.m., eventually ditching the Porsche, running away and trying to hide in the area of 3070 South and 700 East.

Williams surrendered after being found hiding behind a shed, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. Cardenas attempted to run again after he was spotted, but was taken into custody after an officer deployed a Taser.

Friday's wild events began just before 9:30 a.m. when Mark, who asked his last name not be used, arrived at work at LMK Interior Design, 4626 Highland Drive.

A white pickup truck immediately drove up behind him, Hoyal said. The passenger in the truck got out and confronted Mark at gunpoint, demanding he get out of his car and hand over the keys to his Porsche.

"Of course I was shocked, so I did," the carjacking victim said. "At that point, he saw my new cellphone in my hand and requested that as well. Those are replaceable so I gave that to him. I was very freaked out. … My first thought was just to give him what he wanted."

The gunman then demanded Mark's wallet. He told the man he didn't have it.

"He told me, 'I'm not messing around. I'll blow (your) head off.' I told him I don't have a wallet on me, it's in my car. He says, 'I'm serious.' He gestured to his gun again, and I said, 'It's in my car,'" Marks said.

The man then got into the Porsche, struggling at first to operate it, before eventually driving away.

"I'm absolutely shocked," Mark said of the incident. "I think definitely they were probably staking out our business."

Because of the type of business conducted at LMK Interior Design, there are usually several nice cars in the parking lot, Mark said. The two men, he surmised, were waiting for one to pull up.

"It wasn't the best day for me to be late for work," he said.

About 12:30 p.m., investigators received a tip that the stolen car was in the area of 200 West and Paxton Avenue. They found the car and watched as two men got inside, Hoyal said. The men saw police immediately and took off in the car.

Hoyal said police chased the Porsche through a large area of Salt Lake, but the chase never exceeded the standards the department uses for calling off a chase for safety.

Once the Porsche got on southbound I-15 at 1300 South, however, it opened up and started traveling more than 100 mph, Hoyal said. At one point, Hoyal said officers reported seeing smoke coming from the Porsche. Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted in the pursuit.

When the vehicle got off the freeway, police lost sight of the Porsche near 3300 South and 1300 East. They spotted it again a short time later and then lost it near 2700 South and 800 East, Hoyal said. It was spotted a third time at 3073 South 700 East, parked in a backyard and abandoned, he said.

That's when numerous agencies set up a containment around that area and soon took the two men into custody.

Friday afternoon, police were going through the house on Paxton Avenue to see what connection it may have to the crime, if there were any other stolen vehicles there or if the men lived there. As of Friday afternoon, a clear motive for the carjacking was not known.

Cardenas was charged in June in 3rd District Court with assault and had a warrant issued for his arrest when he failed to show up for court in August.

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