Thomas Wirth


An Idaho Falls man was found Tuesday after he escaped law enforcement custody by kicking out a patrol car's window.

According to a Bonneville County Sheriff's Office news release, Thomas Wirth, 42, had been checked out of the hospital and was placed in a patrol car to be transported to jail. The deputy was returning a wheelchair to the hospital when Wirth kicked out the car's side window and fled.

An alert was sent out to nearby residents. Wirth, who was still wearing handcuffs and leg irons, was found in a nearby car and resisted attempts to arrest him. An Idaho Falls Police Department officer used a Taser to subdue him.

Wirth was first arrested early Tuesday morning after a couple reported someone had broken into their shop and attempted to steal a dirt bike.

While searching for the suspect, a deputy found a nearby vehicle that had been reported stolen from Burley. Wirth was found in a canal 85 yards from the car. He was wearing black gloves, a black backpack, a camouflage hat and a blue hoodie. 

The deputy searched Wirth's backpack and found bolt cutters, a pry bar and two pocket knives.

The owner of the stolen car had reported a handgun kept in the vehicle had been stolen with it. Law enforcement did not find the gun in the car or on Wirth's person.

Wirth was charged with burglary, punishable with up to 10 years in prison. He was also charged with possession of burglary tools, punishable with up to a year in jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 16 in Bonneville County Courthouse.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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