By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Green River man was arrested in Rock Springs this week, accused of going on an evening crime spree.
Steven Rice, 41, was arrested Monday and charged with felony property destruction and five misdemeanors, including battery, theft of less than $1,000, criminal entry and three counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
According to Rock Springs Police Department reports, at around 9 p.m. Monday, Rice was identified driving a vehicle into a parking lot. Witnesses said he jumped out of the car, allowing it to crash into other parked vehicles. He left the scene on foot.
Soon after, two other vehicles were found on Skyline Drive in Rock Springs, both with their doors left open.
Around 9:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to the scene of an assault and vehicle theft, in which Rice allegedly tried to steal a vehicle. When the owner jumped inside the car and hit the emergency brake, Rice hit the man in the head with the car door and then drove off in the vehicle, hitting a pole, reports said.
He later abandoned the car on Ninth Street in Rock Springs.
While investigating the abandoned car, officers located a a white Toyota passenger vehicle abandoned by Rice in the parking lot. This vehicle was later found to be stolen.
Rice was then accused of going to a convenience and stealing a Kia that was running unlocked and unoccupied in the parking lot. The victim’s cell phone was in the car, which allowed the Rock Springs Police Department to track it.
Officers found the vehicle abandoned and occupied on the north side of town, but Rice had taken the cell phone and other valuable items from the car.
Around 11:20 p.m., deputies found Rice hiding in a Bronco in the parking area at Morcon Specialty. He was taken into custody without incident.