|SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
Mike Brown Police Chief
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SLCPD Detectives Arrest Aggravated Robbery Suspects
SALT LAKE CITY — Detectives assigned to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Robbery Squad have arrested 34-year-old Joseph Guerrero and 27-year-old Eloria Avila in connection to an alleged home invasion robbery.
Guerrero was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Restricted Person, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Failure to Stop at the Command of a Police Officer, Parole Violation, Expired Vehicle Registration, and No Valid Driver License.
Avila was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon by a Restricted Person, Failure to Stop at the Command of a Police Officer, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving on Revocation, Operating a Vehicle Without Insurance, and Failure to Remove License Plates.
This investigation started at approximately 1:02 p.m. on Monday, October 18, 2021, when SLC911 received information about a home invasion robbery near 300 North Star Crest Drive. During the commission of the robbery, a firearm was involved. The victim was physically assaulted and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
SLCPD detectives conducted follow up and learned the identities of the potential suspects.
On Wednesday October 27, 2021, at approximately 3 p.m., officers assigned to the SLCPD Gang Unit, who were assisting with the investigation, located the suspects near 400 South Redwood Road. Both were leaving a business in separate vehicles. Once noticed by law enforcement, both suspects fled police in a reckless manner. Officers pursued the vehicle being operated by Avila but terminated the short pursuit due to the dangerous driving behavior of her.
At approximately 5 p.m. on October 27, 2021, law enforcement developed information that led them to the area of St. Marks Hospital in Mill Creek where officers observed the Ford sedan driven by Guerrero that had fled prior. The vehicle was being driven by Avila with Guerrero in the passenger seat. Once observed by officers, Avila fled again in a reckless manner.
Due to the dangerous actions demonstrated by Avila and Guerrero, the SLCPD requested the assistance of partnering agencies and the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter to help with the investigation.
The helicopter maintained visual contact with the suspect vehicle as the driver continued to drive in a reckless manner throughout various locations in Salt Lake County despite no police officers pursuing them.
Once safe to do so and to prevent a second pursuit, law enforcement used spike strips to deflate the vehicle’s tires. After successfully deflating some of the vehicle’s tires Guerrero and Avila continued to drive into the parking garage of the Salt Lake Regional Hospital.
Officers quickly responded to the parking garage. The suspect vehicle was found to be abandoned.
Shortly after, officers located Guerrero and Avila in another vehicle. Both were initially non-compliant when confronted by officers, but ultimately taken into custody without incident.
Underneath the driver seat where Avila was sitting, officers found a handgun. A magazine matching the firearm and marijuana were also found in the backseat.
The owner of the vehicle reported that he did not know Guerrero or Avila and never gave them permission to be inside of it when located by officers. The owner also reported that the firearm and marijuana were not previously in the vehicle.
Officers also confirmed that the Ford sedan was reported stolen, and Avila did not have permission to be in possession of it.
Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.