BRIGHAM CITY -- A 29-year-old man has been charged with felony joyriding and criminal mischief after police say he stole a water truck from a construction site and drove it through a security fence before abandoning it.
During the investigation, police were able to tie other recent incidents of vandalism to James E. Pettus, who is set to be arraigned Monday in 1st District Court in Brigham City.
Pettus was arrested May 6. Police were responding to a burglar alarm at Members First Credit Union, 120 E. 1000 South, around midnight when officers found someone had thrown a beer bottle through the front window. In their investigation, police say, they found Pettus hiding behind a tree nearby.
His shoes matched footprints found at a construction site at Box Elder High School just hours earlier where someone stole the truck and drove it through a gate, according to the probable cause affidavit.
During an interview with police, Pettus reportedly admitted he had been intoxicated all evening and that, earlier, he broke windows across town.
Police in Brigham City have had several similar run-ins with Pettus in past years, according to court documents.
Pettus was convicted of joyriding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, attempted burglary, assault on a police officer and driving on a suspended license in 2006.
In 2004, he was convicted of arson, and in 2002 he pleaded guilty to felony theft. Both of those cases were from incidents in Brigham City as well.