The case began when Monticello Police Officer Kory Dunn received a tip of suspicious behavior around 10 p.m. on Thursday night.
Upon pulling over the suspects, 38-year-old Christopher Lewis Aull of Brigham City, UT and 27-year-old Caylund Georgette of Salt Lake City, Dunn discovered that the vehicle and the vehicle plates had been reported stolen.
The suspects fled southbound in the vehicle at high speed, forcing Dunn to begin pursuit and call for backup. Three officers responded from Blanding, including a Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) officer, a San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputy, and Blanding Police Officer Clayton Most.
Officer Most reports that when Aull and Georgette reached Recapture Reservoir, a spike strip deployment failed to stop them, and the suspects continued into Blanding City.
According to Most, Blanding Police Department policy required the officers to terminate the chase at that point. He said that although officers continued to search for the suspects through the night and into Friday morning, Aull and Georgette were not located.
On Friday afternoon, Most said he received a call saying the stolen vehicle had been found basically in his own backyard. It was abandoned in a barn on private property near the Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding.
As Blanding Police officers processed the vehicle, they recovered several items containing the suspects’ names, along with a Monticello Family Dollar receipt dated the previous day.
Following the discovery of the receipt, Officer Dunn obtained a Family Dollar security camera photo of Aull and Georgette, which law enforcement agencies posted on social media.
The couple remained at large until Saturday. Most said, “I received a call from my neighbor stating that the suspects had just walked past her house.”
Although he was off duty, Most responded immediately and located Aull and Georgette walking down the street. He said they made no effort to run, and he was able to make a safe arrest of both individuals as backup support arrived from the UHP and San Juan County Sheriff’s Department.
Although the suspects were in custody, to the relief of the residents of the Blanding neighborhood where the drama had unfolded, the case wasn’t quite over.
Most said another neighbor contacted him on Sunday saying that over the weekend his young daughter had witnessed two people going in and out of a camp trailer parked in a neighbor’s yard.
“Upon entering the trailer,” Most reported, “I discovered that the suspects had indeed been staying in the trailer.” There was evidence Aull and Georgette had been using methamphetamine while they were inside.
During his arrest, a good amount of the drug was found in Aull’s possession, according to Most. Aull also had a knife from the trailer in his possession.
Most reported that during their arrest Aull and Georgette’s behavior was consistent with individuals intoxicated by methamphetamine.
The chain of events leading to the drama in San Juan County began about a week prior to the arrests in Blanding.
According to Officer Most, Aull and Georgette stole a car and some property from a friend in Blackwater, ID, then traveled south into Utah.
On the way, they attempted to steal another vehicle in Payson, UT. When that vehicle wouldn’t start, they stole property from inside instead.
They also stole a license plate from a third vehicle on the way to southeastern Utah, which they eventually placed on the stolen car.
In addition to the many charges they face in San Juan County, Most said Aull and Georgette face charges from multiple jurisdictions across the state. “Both suspects had just been released from jail at the beginning of the year and are career criminals,” he stated.
Officer Most credits his neighbor, Kate Palmer, with the tip that eventually brought a scary situation to a successful conclusion. “The alert citizens of Blanding get all the credit,” he explained. “I was just doing my job.”
“It’s never okay when you have the bad guys hiding in camp trailers in your neighborhood,” Most continued. “Thankfully these guys didn’t break into a house with a family and do some strong-arm robbery. This could have been absolutely terrible.”
Aull and Georgette had their initial appearance in Seventh District Court on Monday, November 18. The San Juan Record will follow the case to its conclusion in the Felony Court Report.