March 25, 2021 — The Rock Springs Police Department (RSPD) announced details concerning the recent arrest of Steven Allan Rice, 41, of Green River. Rice, who was arrested on Tuesday, March 23, is a suspect in a string of auto theft cases.
In the following press release, the RSPD recapped a series of events and related cases.
At approximately 9:00 p.m., a suspect later identified as Steven Rice was driving a vehicle in the parking lot of 525 Gateway Blvd, when he jumped out of the driver’s seat, allowing the vehicle to crash into parked cars where he then left the scene on foot. Soon after, two other undamaged vehicles were found on Skyline Drive with their vehicle doors open.
Then at 9:27 p.m., Officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of 9th Street for an assault and vehicle theft. Rice attempted to steal a vehicle when the owner jumped inside the car and hit the emergency brake. The victim was struck in the head with the car door by Rice. As Rice drove off in the vehicle, he hit a pole before abandoning the vehicle on 9th Street.
While investigating the incident on 9th Street, officers located a white Toyota passenger car that had been abandoned by Rice in the parking lot. This vehicle was later found to be stolen from the area of 222 Gateway Boulevard, the same location as the initial incident.
Rice then went to the area 1540 9th Street, Kum N Go, where he stole a Kia car that had been running, unlocked, and unoccupied in the parking lot. The victim’s cell phone was in the car, so the Rock Springs Police Department was able to track it to an area north of town. When officers arrived in that area, they located the Kia abandoned and unoccupied, but Rice had taken with him the victim’s cell phone and other items of value from inside the vehicle.
At 11:17 p.m., with assistance from Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were able to locate Steven Rice hiding in a Bronco in the parking area at Morcon Specialty. Rice was taken into custody without incident.
Steven Rice was charged with felony Property Destruction and five misdemeanors, including Battery, Theft < $1000, Criminal Entry, and three counts of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.
The Rock Springs Police Department reminds the community that all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The RSD reminds drivers to lock their vehicles, especially if valuables are kept inside.