ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The suspect of a St. George theft incident is facing numerous charges.
Robert Benson, 39, is facing one count of vehicle theft and one count of theft following multiple run-ins with the police.
Benson’s crimes date back to May 9 when officers were dispatched to the area of Foremaster Drive and Medical Center at 1:13 p.m. in regards to a wellness check of a patient who was just released from the hospital.
When police arrived, no contact was made and officers began to patrol the area before locating Benson at 1680 E Ridgeline Circle. According to police records, Benson was in the portable restroom and stated that he was having stomach issues.
Once Benson opened the door, officers took note of his blue hospital clothes and the tattoos covering his arms, neck, and face.
Following the short encounter, Benson advised that he was okay and would find his way home, and officers left the scene before confirming with the hospital’s officer that Benson was in fact recently discharged from the facility.
Later that day at 3:01 p.m. officers responded to the area of 1728 E Ridgeline Circle on reports of a stolen vehicle.
After arriving on scene, law enforcement made contact with the victim and a number of witnesses, who advised police that a man wearing blue hospital clothes with tattoos covering his arms, neck, and face had allegedly entered the residence. They added that he was holding socks in his hands and only spoke English so could not communicate with the witnesses. The man then walked out of the home and the witnesses then allegedly observed a man in a blue shirt drive away in their van.
While writing a police report from the victim of the stolen vehicle, officers received another call regarding a suspicious person. The caller divulged that “a man with tattoos around his neck in a hazmat suit,” later identified as Benson, was in her backyard. Police records state that Benson told the woman that his vehicle had broken down a few streets away.
From there, officers arrived at 2856 E 1400 S in St. George and located Benson as well as the stolen vehicle which was only half a mile away from Robert’s location.
In reuniting with Benson, officers noted that he had changed into a white painters suit, an Adidas hat, and was in possession of a red cooler, all of which he stole from the van he fled in earlier that day.
At this time, Benson has been booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility.