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Sheriff Involved in High-Speed Chase

Sheriff Involved in High-Speed Chase

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Salt Lake Tribune via YellowBrix

February 21, 2010

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder ended up involved in a highway chase with a strange ending as he drove to a training seminar Saturday in Park City, police said.

Winder was driving east on Interstate 80 in Parleys Canyon at about 10 a.m. when he spotted a Toyota Camry being driven erratically, moving from lane to lane, said Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson.

“He was initially thinking perhaps it was a DUI, or driving under the influence,” Hutson said. Winder turned his emergency lights on and saw smoke coming from the Toyota’s engine, raising the possibility of mechanical trouble, Hutson said.

The car pulled over near the Lamb’s Canyon exit. But before Winder got out of his car, the driver suddenly threw the Camry into reverse. Winder had to quickly back up to avoid collision, then followed the car as it sped away. Other officers placed spikes on the highway near Coalville to blow the car’s tires, but the driver pulled over again before reaching them.

When Winder approached the car, he found a 47-year-old female driver in a vehicle loaded with thousands of dollars worth of women’s clothing from stores such as Macy’s, Dillards and J.C. Penney.

“They all appeared to be purchased,” Hutson said, and were in bags, on hangers and wrapped in plastic. The woman gave receipts for some of the items, but said she didn’t have a job, and couldn’t explain how she had paid for the merchandise.

She also offered no reason for her erratic driving or flight from police, though she was not driving under the influence, Hutson said. There are no warrants out for her arrest, and it appears she has a valid driver license, Hutson said.

Police took the car, but it is properly registered to her boyfriend, Hutson said. The woman was arrested on suspicion of felony fleeing. Officers were investigating the incident.

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