Oil trail leads police to hit-and-run driver

Published: Friday, March 15 2013 5:35 p.m. MDT

Bill Pratt went to work Thursday morning and found his car window smashed in and a "For Rent" sign shoved inside the vehicle. A trail of oil led Orem police to the driver who allegedly hit the vehicle and left the scene. The driver was cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

Randall Jeppesen, Deseret News

OREM — A man who police say tried to use a “For Rent” sign to cover up his bad driving, left a trail behind for officers to follow.

Around 3 a.m. Thursday, Bill Pratt was going to drive his car to work, which was parked at 525 N. 200 East, when he noticed a "For Rent" sign on the driver's side window. Then he took a closer look and noticed a shattered window.

"I was just shocked. ... Glass was everywhere. I didn't know what to think. I pulled (the sign) out. I was just looking around," he said laughing. "I was freaking out." 

The sign was likely to try and make it look like vandalism, Orem Police Sgt. Craig Martinez said. But the car had actually been sideswiped, and the driver who hit the car left a trail for investigators.

"We traced the suspect back to his home by following the nice little oil trail that his car left," Martinez said.

The trail of motor oil circled around several streets and ended about five blocks away in front of the driver's house, where they found a damaged vehicle.

The man who allegedly left the damage and the "For Rent" sign was cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

Pratt said he is glad he won't be stuck paying the bill to fix his car. "He hit and ran. I'm mad. I want it all just fixed," Pratt said.

Randall Jeppesen

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