clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

West Valley police searching for man who stole now-recovered patrol car

Josh Bell
Josh Bell

WEST VALLEY CITY — Police recovered a patrol car that was stolen for about 10 minutes Sunday morning, and officers that evening were still looking for the man responsible for the theft.

Two officers responded about 6 a.m. to a report of a domestic dispute at a house near 4500 South and 4500 West, West Valley Police Lt. Blair Barfuss said.

A man, later identified as Josh Bell, 28, ushered the officers into the house, yelling "that a family member was going to kill another family member," Barfuss said.

"As officers ran into the home, they turned around and observed (Bell) jump into one of their police vehicles and drive away at a high rate speed," he said.

The police car was found abandoned in a nearby park within 10 minutes using GPS technology, Barfuss said.

Nothing was stolen from the car, and there were no weapons inside when it was stolen, he said.

Bell was not dressed for the cold weather when he fled, Barfuss noted.

Bell was not armed but may have been "under the influence of an unknown drug," and was responsible for the domestic dispute, Barfuss said.

According to state court records, Bell pleaded guilty last week to attempted theft by receiving stolen property, reduced from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony, and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor, after he was found driving a stolen motor home in May.

The motor home had a temporary registration belonging to another vehicle on it, charges state, and Bell was in possession of several used syringes, small pink balloons and an electric scale.

Bell was scheduled to be sentenced in the case Jan. 30.

Bell also pleaded guilty in June in three separate cases: attempted possession of a controlled substance within a correctional facility, a class A misdemeanor; possession of controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; and giving false personal information with intent of being another person, a class A misdemeanor.

Bell's criminal history in Utah dates back to 2010 and includes felony convictions of attempted aggravated robbery, unlawful possession of a (financial) card, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and robbery, as well as misdemeanor convictions for attempted retail theft, giving false personal information with intent of being another person, theft of services and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anyone with information about Bell is asked to call police at 801-840-4000.