Michael Christopher Garza

Michael Christopher Garza

Authorities are urging local residents to lock their homes and vehicles and to report any suspicious activity because of a high-speed chase suspect who's on the loose.

Michael Christopher Garza, a 37-year-old Smithfield, Utah, man with gang affiliations, is wanted for questioning in connection to the lengthy vehicular pursuit in Caribou County on Saturday evening.

Garza is the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the chase, a 2008 Pontiac G6. The Caribou County Sheriff's Office said Garza is dangerous and if you spot him dial 911 immediately. Do not approach him under any circumstances.

The Caribou County Sheriff's Office said it received a report around 6:45 p.m. Saturday that the driver of a car had forced one car off the road and nearly struck another vehicle head-on at Highway 34 and Stateline Road, an intersection on the Idaho-Wyoming border about 40 miles northeast of Soda Springs.

The car was described as a Pontiac with Utah license plates and responding sheriff's deputies soon spotted the 2008 Pontiac G6 owned by Garza heading southbound on Highway 34 at a speed of over 90 mph.

Deputies attempted to pull over Garza's vehicle but the suspect vehicle accelerated and attempted to evade the deputies, the Caribou County Sheriff's Office said.

The Pontiac then headed east on Conda Road and entered a gated industrial area. The industrial area was accessible because its gates were up due to shift change.

The Pontiac then drove onto a dirt road and continued down that road at a high rate of speed for about three miles.

Deputies lost sight of the vehicle due to its excessive speed and the blowing dust it created but they eventually found it unoccupied where the dirt road dead-ends.

The Sheriff's Office said it's believed the driver fled on foot into the surrounding forest.

Sheriff's deputies, Soda Springs police and U.S. Forest Service personnel then spent all of Saturday night and Sunday morning searching for the suspect. A Forest Service tracking dog was brought in to help locate the suspect.

However, the Sheriff's Office reported on Sunday morning that the suspect was still on the loose.

Police also checked Garza's Smithfield residence but were unable to locate him.

Authorities said they do not believe Garza poses an immediate threat to public safety but they are asking area residents to use caution until he's captured and to report anything suspicious.