SALT LAKE CITY — Three schools in the Salt Lake area were temporarily placed on lockdown Thursday morning while police searched for a man who they believe stole a van.
According to police, a man with gauged ears between 20 and 30 years old wearing a black baseball cap and white T-shirt, stole a van from RBM Building Services in Utah County Thursday morning.
An officer on patrol in Murray located the vehicle and followed it "for quite some time" while waiting for backup, according to Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division Lt. Allan Shinney. It is unclear when the chase began.
"We had a pretty good saturation. We had assistance from (Utah Highway Patrol) and Unified (police). We attempted to make a stop on it. The suspect vehicle then fled away and we followed him for some time," he said.
Officers abandoned the pursuit when the driver began driving into oncoming traffic, Shinney said. They later found the man four miles away and UHP troopers followed "at a safe distance" without turning on lights or sirens.
The man led police "through quite the pursuit through the town," Shinney said, before abandoning the vehicle at 600 N. Wall Street (130 West) where he fled on foot. He was later picked up by another vehicle, he said.
West High School, 241 N. 300 West, Jackson Elementary, 750 W. 200 North, and Washington Elementary, 420 N. 200 West, were placed on lockdown as a precaution for about an hour Thursday. The lockdowns were lifted at 11 a.m.
Police had not yet found the man. According to police, no one was in harm's way during the pursuit.
"No one was in jeopardy. No one penetrated the school," Shinney said.