July 22, 2014

Utah jail escapees run out of gas and out of luck in Lincoln

Utah jail escapees have been captured in Lincoln, after running out of gas…literally.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department reports that 31-year-old Dallas Derrick and 21-year-old Jason Braham have been arrested without incident and now reside in the county jail in Lincoln.

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner says the two men were arrested by deputies Sunday morning, after they were spotted walking from a stalled car near the Harris overpass.

“Keys had been left in the vehicle and they had stolen this vehicle. These two men were escapees from Vernal, Utah and had been making their way across the various states by finding vehicles with their keys in it and stealing them,” according to Wagner.

A sheriff’s deputy spotted Derrick and Braham walking across the Harris Overpass in Lincoln Sunday morning. They had left a Buick on the side of the bridge after running out of gas. The sheriff’s department says the two confessed that they had escaped from a Utah jail and simply found vehicles with the keys inside and would drive them until they ran out of gas. They said they had driven from Vernal to Cheyenne, WY where they stole another vehicle and drove into Nebraska, making stops in Maxwell and Grand Island before driving to Lincoln.

A SUV the two picked up in Grand Island ran out of gas in Lincoln. They took the Buick from an apartment complex in Lincoln.

“I’m shocked that people would leave their vehicles unlocked and keys in them. That used to happen pretty commonly 40 or 50 years ago, but today most people are very cognizant of locking their vehicles,” according to Wagner, “but these men were able to make their way across the various states by doing just that and so it must be more common than one might think.”

Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.