Bountiful man faces several charges in connection with November auto theft, high-speed chase
SALT LAKE CITY — Charges have been filed against a Bountiful man police say stole a car, two trucks and led officers on a high-speed chase last month.
Travis James McDonald, 31, was charged with theft, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, and two counts of criminal mischief, all second-degree felonies; aggravated assault, two counts of failure to stop for an officer, third-degree felonies; and two counts of reckless driving, class B misdemeanors.
Police say McDonald was the man who eluded them after leading them on a 20-minute, high-speed chase through West Valley City and Salt Lake City and then at a Salt Lake Home Depot.
On Nov. 6, police spotted McDonald near 3300 South and 7200 West. He was getting into a tan Ford F-350 that had been stolen from a residential driveway at almost three weeks earlier, according to charging documents.
Police set up a road block in an attempt to stop McDonald, but he drove around the block and over a stop sign. He then fled the scene, with officers in pursuit and emergency lights flashing, court documents state.
McDonald drove faster than the speed limit, ran red lights and eventually abandoned the truck in a ditch, charges state. He then stole a General Motors utility truck that belonged to a contractor working for Nicholas and Co. and drove through a gate and onto 5600 West, according to the charges.
Motor Vehicle Enforcement detectives pursued McDonald, whose speed reached 80 mph while weaving in and out of traffic and running traffic signals, court documents state.
Officers later spotted the man and followed him to Home Depot, 328 W. 2100 South. After nearly an hour, police said they could not find the man.
In September, police attempted to arrest McDonald in connection with a stolen Honda Acura. Court documents state that when approached, McDonald drove straight at the officer's car, which the officer was standing next to, swerving away from the car at a fast speed when he was 10 feet away.
Police finally arrested McDonald at a Boise motel on Nov. 14 without incident.
McDonald and a woman he was with tried to use a credit card stolen from a Utah resident, according to Boise police. The credit card owner contacted Boise authorities, who went to a hotel on the 2200 block of West Airport Way just after 10:30 p.m.
Officers discovered a woman had just attempted to use the stolen credit card at the motel and tried to forge the victim's signature, according to police. They found a woman matching the suspect's description and McDonald both getting luggage out of a Toyota SUV in the motel's parking lot.
They tried to give officers several false names, according to authorities. Detectives searched both suspects and found they were each carrying drugs. McDonald was also carrying a loaded .22-caliber pistol and stolen credit cards, according to police.
The SUV where they kept their luggage was stolen out of Utah. A search of the vehicle and McDonald's luggage uncovered other stolen items, police said.
McDonald is no stranger to law enforcement and is currently wanted on several felony warrants in addition to the recent incident with police.
He was charged Oct. 25 with felony drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. In September, he was charged with trying to use a stolen credit card. McDonald also had a stolen vehicle from a home in Cottonwood Heights and told investigators he got the car from his "drug dealer," according to court documents.
Police interviewed McDonald in the back of a police squad car. When he got out of the car to leave, the officer noticed a baggie containing meth and heroin that wasn't there before, according to court records. The officer also found a stolen gun and a stolen set of spinal surgery implants worth about $20,000, court records state.
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