Murray, UT – An accused U-Haul thief is facing felony charges, after he allegedly fled from Unified police when they tried to pull him over on Christmas Day.
Murad Mansurovich Kurbanov, 19, has been charged with third-degree felony failure to stop or respond at the command of police, second-degree felony theft of a rental vehicle, and misdemeanor reckless driving, the Gephardt Daily reported.
The brief chase began at approximately 9:30 a.m., after a Unified Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson spotted a 2018 Ford U-Haul van speeding through multiple red lights and illegally passing several other vehicles, according to KUTV.
“The driver started to get nervous, and when they lit him up, went to pull him over for a stop, he fled and he blew the light," Unified Police Sergeant Nicholas Roberts said.
"Our units discontinued the chase. We did not pursue," Sgt. Roberts added.
Police later received a report that the same vehicle was seen driving recklessly in another area of the city, and that the male driver had bailed out and ran into a nearby apartment complex, the Gebhardt Daily reported.
Officer Nelson responded to the complex and located a man who matched the suspect’s description sitting on a flight of stairs, according to KUTV.
The suspect, later identified as Kurbanov, told Officer Nelson that he was just there visiting a friend.
“The male stated he was there to visit a friend in apartment 13,” the officer wrote in the probable cause affidavit, according to the Gebhardt Daily. “I walked the male to the floor he said he was visiting and he then said it was apartment 9, not 13.”
“The male knocked on the door and nobody answered. The male then said his friend wasn’t home but that he was just waiting there for him to arrive,” the officer wrote. “The male could not provide a phone number or way to contact the supposed friend he was visiting.”
Investigators determined that the U-Haul was supposed to have returned to the company on Dec. 14, and that it was therefore a stolen vehicle under Utah law.
Kurbanov was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, where his bail was set at $10,000.