West Valley City officer injured after crashing vehicle during pursuit of car thief

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A West Valley City police officer suffered minor injuries after rolling and crashing his car while trying to catch a suspect in a stolen vehicle Saturday night.

The officer saw a suspicious vehicle coming out of a convenience store and was able to find out from the license plates that the car had been stolen.

He started pursuing the car when another vehicle pulled out directly in front of him at 2750 West 2700 South in West Valley City.

“He swerved to prevent an accident with the car and ended up crashing into two parked cars on the other side of the road, and by crashing into those cars it caused him to flip over at least once,” said Lt. Jeff Conger of the West Valley City Police Department.

The officer was taken to the hospital for observation but appears to be in good condition. The driver of the stolen vehicle sped away and a massive search began for a late-model, white Volkswagen Golf Four-Door Hatchback.

Tina Ventura saw police searching for a white car in her neighborhood and flagged down some officers to help.

“I came out and yelled at the officers and said ‘Hey, that car over there is the one that doesn’t belong,'” Ventura said. “If good people don’t help in neighborhoods then the bad guy wins.”

The stolen car was found at 3050 West Appleton Street in West Valley City. Numerous officers and search dogs combed the area but they did not find the suspect(s).

Corey Thompson saw the search and said it reminded him of watching a cop show on TV.

“It’s exciting,” Thompson said. “You never know if that suspect is here hiding in our yard or what.”

Police plan to investigate the stolen car to see if more evidence can be found to identify the suspect or suspects. They are also grateful the officer was not seriously hurt.

“We feel really lucky he is not seriously injured,” added Lt. Conger. “You know a crash like that, someone could definitely die and we’re just glad he’s OK and he’ll be back with us soon.”