A Colorado couple wanted on charges of armed home invasion and aggravated motor vehicle theft in Greeley, Colorado, were taken into custody on Saturday, March 17 by Moab Police Department officers after an overnight surveillance effort revealed that the two were staying at a local hotel.
Michael A. Vieyra, 25, and Katherine Cathey, 35, were arrested and are being held at the Grand County Jail on a no-bail extradition warrant from Colorado.
According to a statement by MPD Chief Jim Winder, law enforcement learned that the couple was in Moab after a notification on March 16 from Greeley Police Department detectives. GPD investigators advised MPD that they had been electronically monitoring the movements of Vieyra and Cathey and that it placed them at approximately 426 North Main Street in Moab, which is the Days Inn hotel.
According to Winder, Grand County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Nathan Whitney responded to the location and made contact with the front desk clerk of the hotel. The clerk was reportedly shown a photograph of the suspects and was able to confirm that they had checked in to the hotel earlier that day and were staying in room 115. In addition, the clerk told investigators that the suspects were driving a white pickup truck. Investigator Whitney discovered a white 2002 pickup with Colorado plates in the parking lot. After investigators checked the status of the vehicle’s registration they discovered it was reported stolen out of Colorado.
“Officers were able to verify with hotel staff that both subjects ... were inside the hotel,” Winder said. “Michael and Katherine arrived in a white ... pickup that officers were able to determine had been stolen out of [Colorado] on [March 15]. Officers established and maintained surveillance throughout the evening and into the morning.”
After locating the vehicle and confirming that the suspects were at the hotel, multiple units from various agencies responded and surveillance was maintained continuously on the hotel and vehicle. While conducting surveillance, officers placed a tracking device on the stolen vehicle and a tire deflation unit was deployed to prevent the suspects from being able to flee in the truck.
“At approximately 9 a.m. officers evacuated hotel guests and staff in an effort to ensure their safety as law enforcement planned for contact,” Winder said.
According to Winder, shortly after the evacuation was completed Vieyra exited the hotel room and was immediately met by officers who had been assigned to secure the room. “[Vieyra] retreated into the room and attempted to barricade the door,” Winder stated. “Officers breached the door and pursued [Vieyra] as he fled through the hotel window on foot.”
At that point, Winder said Vieyra bolted through the parking lot, jumped a fence and unsuccessfully tried to enter a parked vehicle in an adjacent lot. Vieyra then allegedly entered a second parked vehicle and hid until a citizen directed officers to him.
“Officers approached the vehicle, extracted [Vieyra] and took him into custody without further incident,” Winder said. Vieyra reportedly had a knife in his possession when contacted by officers, which he dropped on command.
Cathey was contacted by officers inside the room and detained without further incident. Both suspects were transported to the Grand County Jail.
In addition to the charges he faces in Colorado, Vierya now faces charges in Grand County of felony possession of a stolen vehicle, two felony weapon offenses, and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia, interference with a public servant and flight-escape. Cathey was being held on the warrant out of Colorado.
According to Winder, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol assisted his department in apprehending the suspects.