Video of Utah Sting Goes Viral, Catching Idahoan On the Run 

click to enlarge Samuel Bates,  20, seen here in an October 2015 booking photo, faces charges in Utah of robbery, possession or transfer of stolen good and failure to stop at command from law enforcement. - ADA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • Samuel Bates, 20, seen here in an October 2015 booking photo, faces charges in Utah of robbery, possession or transfer of stolen good and failure to stop at command from law enforcement.


An Idaho man is behind bars in Utah after he was snared in a high-profile, televised sting operation involving a truck, a fake Australian accent and tall tales about his mother's health.

Samuel Bates, 20, a former student of Mountain View High School in Meridian, is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on charges of felony robbery, possession or transfer of stolen goods, and "failure to stop at command from law enforcement."

Bates already had numerous run-ins with Idaho law enforcement, having been previously arrested in the Treasure Valley on charges including burglary, theft, and drug possession. What's more, Bates is currently wanted in Idaho after failing to appear for court hearings.

His profile was raised in early May by KSL-TV, when it aired undercover video of Bates as the centerpiece of a sting operation. KSL-TV reported Bates was allegedly involved in a previous theft of an Apple Watch, which he had arranged to purchase from a woman he connected with online. When he met the seller in person, Bates allegedly snatched the phone from the woman and fled on foot.

That woman, along with a KSL-TV news crew, caught up with Bates a few weeks later—this time as the seller of a Ford F250 truck that he had allegedly stolen. During the ill-fated transaction, Bates can be heard using a bizarre Australian accent and claiming he needed $4,000 to assist his mother, who he claimed was dying of cancer. When the news crew began asking Bates about his possible involvement in the theft of the watch, Bates panicked and took off on foot.

A short time later, law enforcement found Bates hiding in a nearby shed. He was booked into the Utah County Jail, where he awaits his latest court hearing.

Meanwhile, the undercover video from KSL-TV video has gone viral:


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