OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Orem police hope to re-capture a man suspected of stealing several cars, guns and other items. They said they had him once, but claim the court let him go before they could file the charges against him.
“He is what we call a frequent flyer,” said Orem police Sgt. Crain Martinez. “Every day Ira Walker is out of jail somebody loses something.” Police arrested Walker on Monday night for possession of a stolen driver’s license, a license that belonged to Hank Weiss, an Orem resident who reported his truck stolen earlier that day. "I think I left my keys in the car because I can't find them,” said Weiss, who thought the theft occurred while he sat in church. "I walked out and no truck, so I called the police."
Police arrested Walker later that night and sent him to the Utah County Jail, but before the police could formally charge him with stealing Weiss's truck and several other felonies, Walker paid a $250.00 bail and a Fourth District Court judge released him, after only 8 hours in custody. Orem police called that a big mistake. "Eventually someone will have something stolen from them whether it be a car or homes burglarized you name it, he's done it," Martinez said.
Orem police said they know Mr. Walker very well. Utah County jail records show he has been arrested and booked 26 different times, mostly on theft charges. The police said every time they catch him the courts let him go. "It is frustrating but all we can continue to do is do our jobs and hope that one day he will end up where he should be,” Martinez said.
Police refer to Walker as a "frequent flyer." The jail took a mug shot photo every time police arrested him, a growing scrapbook, each representing an alleged offense and a victim like Hank Weiss, who fears for the next person in this line of crime. "There comes a point where someone might be able to use some good sense and say lets keep this punk locked up,” Weiss said.
ABC 4 News tried to contact the Fourth District Court in Provo several times on Tuesday, but could not get any information about why they judge released walker before police could charge him. The Orem police warn the public to beware if they see Walker in their neighborhood and to call them if they do.