Police arrest man after stolen truck crashes into home near Vernal

Published: Saturday, May 10 2014 5:20 p.m. MDT


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VERNAL — Police arrested an 18-year-old man and were seeking a second man Saturday after a stolen vehicle crashed into a home.

Just after midnight, police were notified that a welding truck had been stolen from a mobile home park at 545 E. 500 North in unincorporated Uintah County, according the Uintah County Sheriff's Office. While deputies were investigating the stolen vehicle, a traffic accident was reported in nearby Vernal.

A truck was reported to have crashed into a building at 601 S. Vernal Ave. and its two occupants fled on foot. Deputies determined that the welding truck that was stolen was the same one that crashed into the building.

Sheriff's deputies and officers from the Vernal and Naples police departments responded to search for the two men who fled the scene. They located Anthony Espinoza Jr., 18, a short time later in the parking lot of an area apartment complex and "hiding under a blanket," according to the sheriff's office.

Espinoza was arrested. Evidence at the scene indicated he was the one who stole the truck and was driving it at the time of the crash, a news release states.

The man was booked into the Uintah County Jail for investigation of joyriding, failure to stop at the command of a police officer, illegal consumption and disorderly conduct. Espinoza apparently celebrated his 18th birthday Friday, police said.

Officers were still looking for the other man who had been in the vehicle.

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