A Salt Lake County deputy sheriff was hospitalized Wednesday after he crashed while chasing two armed-robbery suspects.
Deputy Scott VanWagoner, 25, was in satisfactory condition at Cottonwood Hospital with injuries he received when he swerved to miss a car and hit a fire hydrant at 4800 S. State during a high-speed chase.VanWagoner apparently spotted and began pursuing two suspects that matched the description of two gunmen who had robbed three convenience stores in the previous two hours. Although the deputy's vehicle crashed during the chase, the suspects were captured at 350 E. 5300 South, police said.
The first robbery occurred about 12:45 a.m. at Smith's Gas and Video, 4490 S. Highland Drive. Two men wearing ski masks and bandanas walked up behind the 22-year-old clerk and both pointed .38 caliber revolvers at him, a Salt Lake County sheriff's report stated.
The gunmen demanded money and then went directly to the cash register. They took about $200 and then fled.
About an hour later, two masked men robbed the Circle K store at 2200 East 2700 South. Both suspects displayed handguns and demanded money, Salt Lake police said. They then fled with more than $100.
About 2:30 a.m., two men with bandanas on their faces entered Johnny's Miniature Market, 310 E. 3300 South. One of the men had a gun and ordered the 60-year-old clerk to give him all of the store's cash and food stamps, a report stated. Both robbers then fled with more than $250.
Following the chase, two men - one 19, and the other in his late teens or early 20s - were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of armed robbery.