Quick Call Nabs Car Thief In Payson

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Many Payson residents are guilty of it —leaving their keys in their car and sometimes their ignition while they run into a store.

This is a small town, after all, where neighbors trust their neighbors.

On Friday, Oct. 29, a driver learned the unfortunate consequence of doing so.

Payson Police Chief Don Engler said when a man went into Bank of America, he left his keys in his Chevy pickup along with some cash.

Within minutes, a 58-year-old Star Valley man took advantage of the situation and drove off in the truck.

Luckily, the truck’s owner called police and officers from PPD, Gila County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Public Safety immediately began looking for the truck.

A DPS officer spotted the pickup heading southbound on Highway 87 and pulled the driver over near the Gisela turnoff.

Ron Wayne Gutierrez was arrested on charges of theft, burglary, possession of stolen property, theft of a means of transportation, third DUI in seven years and aggravated DUI while suspended for a DUI.

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