Suspect steals Sunset Police car during arrest

It was anything but a typical Sunday in Sunset, Utah where a burglary suspect stole an unmarked Sunset Police Department SUV which was missing for over four hours before Ogden Police Officers recovered it in downtown Ogden.

The incident began around one o'clock Sunday afternoon when 26 year old Nathan Ward was arrested for residential burglary. He requested to stop by his mother's house to pick up a cell phone and when Lieutenant Bruce Arbogast left the vehicle to go to the door, Ward managed to climb into the driver's seat and drive away in the Dodge Durango.

"In a 2-3 minute period he was able to get out of the belt, get his cuffs back in front of him and was able to climb into the front seat and took off in the unmarked vehicle," Arbogast told ABC 4 News.

"The officer took the key out of the vehicle with him, believing that might disable the vehicle," Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn said. "Apparently if the vehicle is running it will still run."

There was a police computer terminal and a loaded rifle and shotgun in the Durango while it was in Ward's possesion.

"We were a little concerned," Eborn said. "You have a individual who has already committed another pretty serious crime so he's probably panicking a little bit."

After four hours of searching, Ward called his mom to say he was in Ogden and at 6 p.m. he was arrested by Ogden Police officers in an abandoned building in downtown Ogden. The Durango was unharmed with the weapons inside and Ward had just scrapes and bruises.

"Very apologetic. He understood what he did was wrong," Sunset Police Sargeant Brett Jamison said. "With our history, most of the officers do know him very well. He was apologetic to the officers involved."

Ward has a record of arrests on drug and petty theft charges.

"I've known the suspect since I've worked here, about 18 and a half years," Arbogast said. "These escapes are something that are something that's out of his nature as well. Desperate things make people do desperate things."

Ward was booked into the Davis County Jail facing felony vehicle theft and escape charges in addition to the original burgalary charge.

Eborn was grateful that Ward and the vehicle were found without a high-speed pursuit that could have resulted in damage or injuries.

"It was a good ending to a bad situation," Eborn said.

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