Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 18, 2014
Alleged Feb. 12 casino robber nabbed in Arizona

A West Wendover man who allegedly robbed a casino and sparked a two-state chase last month but eluded police has been arrested in Arizona.

Anthony Matthew Vera, 38, was arrested Thursday in Tucson, Ariz., more than a month after the Feb. 12 robbery when police say he jumped behind a counter at the Montego Bay Casino and took a cash box with at least $650 in it.

Vera then reportedly got into a vehicle, which headed east from West Wendover on Interstate 80.

Troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol spotted the vehicle near the western Grantsville exit a little after midnight and tried to pull it over. But it sped up, exited the freeway briefly at Lake Point, then got back on the interstate and fled into Salt Lake County.

Troopers from Salt Lake County and local officers continued the pursuit, even as it left I-80 for Bangerter Highway and reached speeds of over 120 mph.

Twice the chase was called off because of public safety concerns, but was later picked up both times. It eventually ended when the driver of the vehicle turned right onto 13400 South and crashed into several fields and eventually stopped.

The driver attempted to flee on foot, but was caught and apprehended by officers from the Unified Police Department. The driver, identified as Elbert Woodson, 38, was charged with failure to stop at the command of police, a third-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor. The charges were filed on Feb. 13.

Twice — near Lake Point and again near Bangerter — spikes were deployed, but those attempts were unsuccessful. When Woodson turned onto Bangerter, a female passenger jumped from the car, and later, Vera also reportedly escaped from the car. In initial reports, Woodson was misidentified as the suspected robber.

According to a press release from the West Wendover Police Department, Vera was arrested on a warrant for the robbery late Thursday without incident. 

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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