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Repo Men Shot At While Trying to Take Barstow Man’s Car

BARSTOW, Calif.(– A team of repo men are considering themselves lucky to be alive after being shot at several times.

On December 6, 2016 at approximately 10:06 p.m., Barstow Dispatch received a call regarding a shooting that had occurred.

The incident started when a legitimate vehicle repossession company attempted to repossess a Nissan Sentra from a home on the 300 block of Date Street in Barstow.

Through investigation, authorities learned that while attempting to repossess the Nissan, the owner of the vehicle, John A. Utley, 63, a resident of Barstow began firing his weapon at the men.

“Utley fired several rounds from a handgun and struck the vehicle that was being repossessed. One of the employees from the repossession company was in the vehicle at the time the vehicle was struck by a bullet,” according to a press release.

The responding officers found evidence of the shooting and secured the scene.

Detective Leo Griego was called out and assumed the investigation. During his investigation, Detective Griego conducted an in-field show-up and the victim positively identified John Utley as the shooter. Detective Griego was able to locate and seize the handgun used in the shooting.

John Utley was arrested and booked at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Jail in Barstow, California for attempted murder.

On December 7, 2016 Barstow Police Department Evidence Technician Sabrina Ellis processed the Nissan Sentra that was struck during the incident and was able to collect additional evidence related to the shooting investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Leo Griego at 760-255-5187. Those wishing to remain anonymous may also report criminal activity by calling the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at

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