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Stolen car leads to discovery of violent home invasion, police say

SHARE Stolen car leads to discovery of violent home invasion, police say

Mafitangata Austin Pulu

Salt Lake County Jail

MAGNA — An investigation into a stolen vehicle led police to discover a possible violent home invasion robbery during which the homeowner was seriously injured.

On Friday, West Valley police spotted a stolen vehicle in an apartment complex near 3800 West and 3500 South.

“A male later identified as Mafitangata Austin Pulu was observed getting out of the vehicle and attempting to walk away. Officers commanded him to stop and he began to run from them. When they caught him, he was holding a silver folding knife and the car keys to the stolen vehicle,” according to a police affidavit.

Officers learned the vehicle was stolen from a residence in Magna. When they attempted to contact the owner, she told police that “her mother was the victim of a home invasion robbery,” the affidavit states.

Unified police were called to the house, near 3300 South and 8300 West, earlier that morning on a report of an assault. A woman called 911 after finding her mother had been beaten and was “covered in blood,” according to the affidavit.

“(She) was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where she is being treated for a brain bleed and facial fractures,” police wrote in the report. “Officers stated the house had appeared to have been gone through and was in complete disarray.”

Pulu, 25, of Salt Lake City, was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, having a stolen vehicle, theft by receiving stolen property and being a restricted person in possession of a weapon.

For Pulu, the arrest was the latest a series of incidents over the past few months.

On May 12 he was arrested after police reported finding him with drugs and someone else's credit card.

On March 12, Pulu was arrested and accused of punching a man and stealing his cigarettes. He was charged in 3rd District Court with robbery, a second-degree felony.

On Feb. 28, he was arrested and accused of drug possession and resisting arrest. He was charged in that case in 3rd District Court with failing to stop at the command of an officer, a class A misdemeanor, and interfering with an arrest, a class B misdemeanor.