Woman pleads guilty to string of local thefts and high-speed chase

Booking photo for Brittney L. Franklin (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — A 35-year-old West Valley City woman has pleaded guilty to a string of shoplifting thefts, one that led to a high-speed chase out of Cache Valley. Brittney L. Franklin was arrested in August.

Franklin appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. She pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of police, possession of a controlled substance and retail theft, all third-degree felonies. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped 12 remaining charges.

On August 14, Franklin and the co-defendant, Breaisa M. Montano, stole items from Victoria’s Secret. The two then went to Al’s Sporting Goods, where Montano stole several hundred dollars in merchandise, while Franklin acted as the getaway driver.

As Montano left the store, she threw the stolen items into a silver Volkswagon Jetta. A store employee tried to stop her and was hit by the car. He had minor injuries and was treated by paramedics, before being released.

A deputy later recognized the Jetta, driving south on US-89/91. When they attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle fled south. During the chase, the car hit several construction barrels in the Wellsville area and then continued into Sardine Canyon, reaching speeds between 80-100 mph.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers spiked the car’s tires at the brake check point in Brigham City. A deputy used his vehicle to block Franklin from leaving the car. Montano meanwhile left the vehicle, jumped the guard rail and ran into the golf course. She was caught later.

Franklin spoke only briefly during Tuesday’s court appearance. She explained that she was willing to waive her right to a trail in exchange for her guilty plea.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Barbara Lachmar said as part of the plea deal, Franklin agreed to pay restitution to all of the victims.

Judge Brian Cannell told Franklin that she could face up to life in prison. He ordered her to remain in jail and complete a criminal history report, prior to sentencing on January 28.

Montano previously pleaded guilty to three counts of retail theft, a third-degree felony. She is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.


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